Department outlines the action plan for Food Wise 2025

Additional actions for the dairy, beef and sheepmeat sectors have been included in the Food Wise 2025 Implementation Plan, the Minister for Agriculture has announced.

Food Wise 2025 is the new strategy for the development of the agri-food sector over the next decade.

The plan was drawn up by an independent committee of stakeholders and experts and launched by the Taoiseach in July this year.

“The Food Wise Implementation Plan forms the final part of the Food Wise strategy process.

“It sets out a robust implementation process, driven by a High-Level Implementation Committee (HLIC) which I chair personally, involving senior officials from all relevant Government Departments and State Agencies,” Minister Simon Coveney said.

The additional sectoral actions are as follows:

Dairy

The Department has included the recommendation in the plan that cost benefit analysis in relation to mitigation measures for ammonia emissions should be undertaken.

Beef

Looking at the beef sector, it has included the action to explore research into the potential reduction of methane generation arising from cattle and roll-out appropriate mitigation.

Sheepmeat

According to the Department, in the sheepmeat sector, policy development should include a focus on managing overgrazing particularly in areas of ecological importance and in areas where water bodies are sensitive.

Poultry

There has been an additional action recommended by the Department for the poultry sector.

An additional action should be taken to provide funding under the RDP to upgrade existing buildings and funding to support the construction of new housing, including the siting of new housing to avoid environmental effects, and ensure animal welfare and safety.

Cereals/Tillage

Looking at the cereals/tillage sector, the Department has included an additional action; to promote minimum tillage.

Forestry

Finally, under forestry, it has included the action to consider the development of bird forest sensitivity maps.

“The Implementation Plan includes a supplementary list of Food Wise 2025 sustainability actions and recommendations, in response to the final Environmental Analysis report.

“Ireland is a clear global leader in producing food sustainably, but the implementation of the Food Wise strategy will challenge us to be even more ambitious in improving and measuring our sustainability credentials,” the Minister said.

Sustainability is at the core of Food Wise which states that “environmental protection and economic competitiveness should be considered as equal and complementary: one will not be achieved at the expense of the other”.

Food Wise 2025 therefore, set out a range of specific recommendations aimed at managing the projected growth in a sustainable way, while protecting and improving the environment, the Department said.

As part of the Food Wise 2025 process, a draft Environmental Analysis Report (incorporating a Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Appropriate Assessment) was prepared in parallel, and this environmental assessment was taken into account in drafting the Food Wise report.

The final Environmental Analysis Report (revised following a public consultation process) is also being published on the Department’s website.

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