A challenge against the Government and its Food Vision 2030 strategy has been thrown out by the High Court.

Environmental organisation Friends of the Irish Environment took the Government to court after it said that Food Vision 2030 was "invalid" and did not comply with a number of EU regulations.

In his judgment, Justice Richard Humphreys ordered that the legal proceedings be dismissed.

Friends of the Irish Environment first took umbrage with the strategy in February 2021, when it withdrew from the Agri-Food Stakeholder Committee.

This committee was comprised of 32 members representing the agri-food sector and was tasked by the Department of Agriculture to prepare a new strategy to replace the previous strategy Food Wise 2025.

It complained in 2021 that the approach being taken by the committee was insufficiently ambitious in terms of climate goals.

Human impact 'ignored'

According to Friends of the Irish Environment director, Tony Lowes, Food Vision 2030 and Irish agriculture effectively ignores the true growing human impact on our environment and, specifically, the impact of increasingly intensified agriculture on a range of environmental indicators.

"The result of the High Court judgment - if it stands - is that Ireland has no national agriculture policy.

"Food Vision 2030 naturally represents the stakeholders' [sectoral] interests, particularly as the NGOs representing the public were unable to engage successfully with the industry-oriented committee," Lowes added.

This, he said, leaves concerned citizens with no clear path as they endeavour to address pressing issues, such as curbing agriculture emissions, upholding legally binding targets set forth in the Climate Act 2015 and the Paris Agreement, safeguarding Natura 2000 sites, and addressing the deterioration of water quality.

The environmental charity is now considering an appeal, to which it is automatically entitled.