The first National Dialogue – Sustainable Food Systems and Ireland’s 2030 Agri-Food Strategy will take place today (Wednesday, April 21).

In September, the UN Secretary-General will convene a ‘Food Systems Summit’ as part of the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Ireland’s response to the summit is being led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The summit will highlight the potential of food systems to deliver a sustainable future for all people and the planet, and set out a framework of commitments and actions for all stakeholders to achieve sustainable food systems over the coming decade.

Food Systems Summit dialogues are convened by national governments and individuals from across all of society in preparation for the summit, and the DAFM is convening a series of four National Dialogues.

National Dialogue on Agri-Food Strategy

The dialogues are coinciding with the publication of Ireland’s draft 2030 Agri-Food Strategy, which has been developed using a food systems approach.

The first National Dialogue will held today from 2:30p.m- 4:30p.m, and will focus on Sustainable Food Systems and Ireland’s 2030 Agri-Food Strategy.

It has been designed to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders, from producers to consumers, to learn about their food system and contribute to its future sustainability.

The dialogue will be chaired by DAFM assistant secretary general (ASG), Sinéad McPhillips, and will open with a keynote address by Dr. Martin Frick, deputy special envoy to the Food Systems Summit.

Panel discussions

There will also be two panel discussions titled: ‘Ireland’s Food Systems Approach: A View from Home and Internationally’ and ‘Environmental and Economic Sustainability: Synergies and Trade-Offs’.

Ireland’s Food Systems Approach: A View from Home and Internationally

  • Tom Arnold – chairperson of 2030 Agri-Food Strategy Committee;
  • Rogier Schulte – Professor, Wageningen University and Research;
  • Caroline Keeling – CEO of Keelings;
  • John Bell – director Healthy Planet, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at EU Commission.

Environmental and Economic Sustainability: Synergies and Trade-Offs

  • Tim Cullinan – president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA);
  • Laura Burke – director general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Pat Murphy – CEO of primary dairy and agribusiness at Kerry Group and chair of Dairy Industry Ireland (DII);
  • Karen Ciesielski – CEO of the Irish Environmental Network.

The other dialogues will be held on April 26, May 4 and May 17.