Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marne Simon Coveney has confirmed that co-operation between Dublin and Belfast has never been stronger in terms of developing a sustainable future for agriculture and food across the entire island of Ireland.

“This has nothing to do with politics. The reality is that there are numerous synergies between both industries. And it makes perfect sense for the authorities North and South to co-operate fully in ways that will deliver for farmers throughout this island.

“An excellent example of this is the way that both Departments of Agriculture are working to tackle the challenge posed by BVD and Johne’s Disease,” he said at last week’s

“Our key objective moving forward must be the development of a truly sustainable farming and food sector on the island of Ireland. There are numerous examples of how this is happening already. But there is a significant need  for further research in this fundamentally important area. And, this must be accrued out o a cross border basis.

Speaking at the same event, the North’s Far Minister Michelle O’Neil said that enhanced cross border co-operation on agri-food affairs represented a win:win scenario for everyone involved.

“Farmers and food companies will benefit in equal measure, as will the island’s economy as a whole,” she said.

“Both Dublin and Belfast are totally committed to securing significant growth within the island’s agri food industries. I am totally confident that all of this potential will be fully realised over the coming years. And this means more jobs within the economy as a whole.”

Agri Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (CEO) Professor Seamus Kennedy, who attended the Bord Bía event, told Agriland that his organisation has had a close working relationship with Teagasc over recent years.

“And we want to build on this for the future,” he added. “Effective research and development progammes must be put at the very heart of the effort made to develop a sustainable future for farming and food on this island.”