Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD today opened the first meeting of the Stakeholder Committee that will develop the Agri-Food strategy to 2030, and announced the composition of the Committee.
Minister Creed commented “Since their inception 20 years ago, up to the current Food Wise 2025 plan, a rolling series of ten year strategies have ensured that we have a coherent, stakeholder-led vision to underpin the development of the sector. The success of these strategies is evidenced by a 73% growth in agri-food exports since 2009. While the sector faces challenges, great opportunities exist. I am sure that environmental sustainability, including climate, biodiversity and water, will be a key issue to be considered by the Committee. Equally, expanding our footprint globally; innovation; and competitiveness will be priorities for the industry. Primary producers are an essential part of the economic and social fabric of Ireland; it remains a priority for us all to enable them to produce food in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable way ”.
In relation to the composition of the Committee, Minister Creed said, “The agri-food sector encompasses many different elements and in appointing members, I was cognisant of the need to ensure a good representation of these various parts of the sector and I am delighted that so many distinguished individuals accepted my invitation to participate in this Committee”.
For his part, the Chair of the Committee, Mr Tom Arnold, said, “Given the critically important role that the agri-food sector plays in the Irish economy, Irish society and perhaps most importantly of all, in a supply of safe, nutritious and sustainable food, I am honoured to accept the invitation of Minister Creed to Chair the Committee charged with preparing its strategic direction into the next decade. The development of the Agri-Food Strategy to 2030 will provide the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the sector, the threats and opportunities facing it, and to specify appropriate development pathways. I look forward to working with the Committee in a spirit of constructive collaboration”.