Ministers in the Department of Agriculture have left the door open for the Environmental Pillar, which represents more than 30 environmental NGOs, to rejoin the agri-food strategy committee.

The Environmental Pillar announced its decision to withdraw from the process on Thursday morning, citing concerns about the draft strategy due to be published in the coming weeks.

In a brief statement, Ministers McConalogue, Heydon and Hackett expressed their regret at the group’s decision to withdraw from further discussions.


“We sincerely hope the Pillar will reconsider that decision and engage in the process, as we believe it has an important role to play in the development of this policy,” they said.

“Agri-Food 2030, under the chairmanship of Tom Arnold, will play a huge role in shaping the future direction of our sustainable agri-food sector. That is why it is crucial to have all stakeholders involved.”

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the remaining members of the committee will continue with the strategy, leaving the door open for the environment NGO to return to the table.

"There is still time for further collaboration. We would urge all sides to recognise that and do all they can to remain engaged," the Ministers concluded.