Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will arrive in Dubai on Friday 8 December to participate in a series of events highlighting the importance of sustainable food systems at the COP28 summit.

Ireland is a world leader in sustainable foods systems from farm to fork and the Minister is using the opportunity to showcase our story as a model for other food producing countries, the Department of Agriculture said.

It added that this builds on consistent engagement by the Minister and his Department at other UN and FAO forums where sustainable food is discussed.

“My attendance at COP is an important opportunity to contribute to the global dialogue on sustainable food systems.

“For the first time, the COP presidency has prioritised the link between climate policy and our food system and, as a food producing nation, it is critically important that Irish agriculture and food is presented on the world stage,” he said.

Minister McConalogue will hold a series of bilateral meetings over the course of the summit.

“These engagements are an important opportunity to highlight the considerable work being done in Ireland to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovation and systemic change.

"Through sharing our experience, we hope to play a key role in the global transformation of food systems which will be of benefit to all and lead to more sustainable environmental, social and economic outcomes.”

Leading voice

During the summit, Ireland will co-host an event with the COP presidency, UAE, entitled 'A Sustainable Food Systems Approach to Innovation for Climate Action'.

“Ireland is a leading voice in advocating for global food systems transformation, based on an appreciation of the central importance of farming, fishing and food production to rural and coastal communities.

"We have strongly supported the UN Food Systems Summit process and are working with partners globally to promote sustainable food systems approaches,” the Minister said.

“Ireland’s pasture-based livestock farming and improving our overall sustainability can do a lot to contribute to climate mitigation.

"Irish agriculture has many natural advantages in terms of food production, in particular, a nine-month outdoor grazing season which is very rare internationally, in what is an increasingly global food supply system, but we know we can improve even more.

“We are therefore at the forefront of research nationally and internationally, driving innovation, and working with farmers and food businesses to support implementation on farms and across the value chain,” he said.