The people of County Cork can have their say on Ireland’s next Agri-Food strategy in a new public consultation, North Cork Fine Gael John Paul O’Shea has said.
“My colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has opened the Public Consultation on Ireland’s next Agri-Food Strategy to 2030. I encourage any interested groups or individuals to get involved and have their say. This will be relevant to everyone from farmers, producers, small and medium business including retailers and restaurants as well as consumers,” said Cllr. O’Shea.
Food Wise 2025 is the Government’s current ten-year strategy for the agri-food sector in a series of ten-year plans that have been in place since 2000. They are renewed every five years and preparations have begun on the new strategy to 2030. In launching the public consultation.
Minister Creed said: “While Food Wise has been instrumental in providing a framework for the sustainable growth of the sector, like all strategic plans, it must evolve and respond to rapidly changing circumstances.
“We are facing new challenges, in particular the uncertainty posed by the possibility of a no-Deal Brexit, as well as the need for the sector to contribute effectively to climate action. There are also new and emerging opportunities for the sector, for example, in the bioeconomy. While we are embarking on this policy process against a background of considerable change and uncertainty, for example in relation to Brexit and CAP reform, that uncertainty makes it more important than ever that we come together to agree a coherent plan for the sector to 2030.”
Minister Creed also took the opportunity to launch the fourth progress report of Food Wise 2025, entitled ‘Steps to Success 2019’.
Cllr. O’Shea went on to say: “The Food Wise 2025 progress report shows that Irish agri-food exports have increased by 73% since 2009. This is phenomenal growth in what has been a difficult decade for Ireland since the economic crash. Agri-food has been the backbone of Ireland’s recovery, and farmers and food producers in County Cork have played their part in that.
“Now is the time for the Minister to hear what they think about our future agri-food strategy. The public consultation, which is open until 1 October 2019, will have two elements – a public consultation document and an online survey and I encourage people in County Cork to make their contribution atagriculture.gov.ie
“There will also be an event in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on the 16th of October called an ‘Open Policy Debate’ and I encourage people from County Cork who are working in this sector to attend.”