Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, will host an ‘Open Policy Debate’ for 400 delegates from across the Irish agri-food sector later today, Wednesday, October 16.

The event will discuss a range of issues which will be key to the development of the next 10-year strategy for the sector.

Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Creed said: “This ‘Open Policy Debate’ is an important exercise in consultation and offers a valuable opportunity for stakeholders to come together to consider the many complex challenges and opportunities facing the Irish agri-food sector.

I am looking forward to hearing what stakeholders have to say – particularly what new thinking and ideas can be generated to shape the direction and content of the next Agri-Food Strategy to 2030.

In conjunction with the public consultation that Minister Creed launched during the summer, this event begins the process of developing the next 10-year strategy to succeed Food Wise 2025.

The public consultation on Ireland’s next Agri-Food Strategy to 2030 is one of a series of consultations as part of the Department of Agriculture’s approach to inclusive policy development.

The consultation will end at close of business this Friday, October 18, 2019.

The consultation is composed of two elements, namely: a public consultation document which poses a number of questions, answerable by respondents on an attached “response form”; and an online survey with a small number of questions.

On the matter of the new policy, Minister Creed said: “We need to consider current and emerging challenges, but also the many opportunities that are opening up for the agri-food sector.”

The minister added that, over the last 20 years, the sector has benefited from a series of stakeholder strategies, updated every five years.

“This approach to strategic planning has ensured a coherent, stakeholder-led vision, which has underpinned the development of the sector.

This is evidenced by the 73% increase in the value of agri-food exports since 2009, to almost €14 billion last year.

“Each successive strategy has attached greater importance to environmental sustainability, which Food Wise correctly identified as being equal and complementary to economic development,” the minister concluded.