An Taoiseach has suggested that stabilising cattle numbers could form part of the Government’s efforts to cut carbon emissions.
“The Government’s position is that we want to stabilise the national herd,” An Taoiseach said, speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal at Moorepark on Friday.
“We all have to make an added contribution [to cutting carbon emissions], be it transport, be it agriculture and be it industry,” An Taoiseach said.
He would not be drawn on the specific sectoral target for carbon emissions that is likely to be drawn up for agriculture, but he warned that they would be “challenging”.
The extent of the cuts for farming were the subject of discussions between Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue TD and his counterpart in the Department of Energy Eamon Ryan TD, the Taoiseach said.
While the Taoiseach insisted that all sectors will have to make a contribution to carbon emissions, he declined to say if restrictions on the construction of additional data centres was under immediate consideration.
An Taoiseach was talking at the official opening of a new National Food Innovation Hub at Teagasc Moorepark on Friday.
The €8.8m investment provides secure, confidential office and lab paces to lease for food companies.
It is envisaged that the new facility will act as a base for the various companies’ research and developments teams.
New export opportunities
“I’m delighted to be here to officially open the new National Food Innovation Hub, which was conceived to support food companies located in Ireland to secure new export markets in the post-Brexit era,” said An Taoiseach.
He described Teagasc Moorepark as a “heavyweight” institution in food research and he said the development of the Moorepark hub built on that reputation and consolidated its position at the forefront of food innovation.
“I’m confident that in the unique environment that has been created with this facility, food companies will greatly enhance their research and innovation capacity,” he added.
Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle acknowledged the support of the Government for Irish food research.
“It has been critical to building the infrastructure within Teagasc, which is now available to support a modern and continuously evolving food sector in Ireland,” Prof Boyle said.
“The National Food Innovation Hub will harness the creativity of Teagasc’s top-class food scientists and the collective business ambition of the companies in the hub to drive innovation, jobs and export diversification,” he said.
Welcoming completion of the new hub, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue described the site as a “one-stop-shop for innovation”.
“We were particularly pleased to provide significant capital funding of some €9m from the Department’s capital budget to enable Teagasc complete this new world-class facility,” the Minister said.
This funding represents a strong commitment by Government to increase the rate of research and innovation in the agri-food sector
“This funding represents a strong commitment by Government to increase the rate of research and innovation in the agri-food sector and to support food companies located in Ireland to secure new export markets in the post-Brexit era,” Minister McConalogue maintained.
“With a research focus on food processing, quality and nutrition, I believe the food innovation hub will help to deliver significant change in innovation activity and act as a catalyst to promote greater collaboration between industry and public research,” he said.
Having been completed in June 2021 by Limerick-based Conack Construction, the hub is already at full occupancy, with companies working in the areas of dairy and other nutritional products.
The companies using the centre include Ornua, Glanbia, Pepsi, Lakelands and Abbot.