Despite the looming challenges posed by Brexit, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, believes this is no time to step back in relation to ambitions set out in Food Wise 2025.

Minister Creed was speaking ahead of the Food Wise Conference which is to take place in Croke Park this morning (Monday, December 4).

Hosted by the Department of Agriculture, the ‘Food Wise Conference 2017: Challenge, Ambition, Opportunity’ will get underway from 8:30am.

In advance of the conference, the minister said: “The theme of our conference is ‘Food Wise: Challenge, Ambition, Opportunity’ – and the conference will hear from a range of speakers on these themes, including: the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; EU Commissioner Phil Hogan; Laura Burke, director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and John Moloney, who led the Food Wise 2025 committee in 2015.

“There have been some calls for a moderation of the Food Wise ambition in the light of Brexit.

However, I believe this is no time to step back. The targets set for 2020 in the previous iteration of our current agri-food strategy are on course to be achieved well ahead of schedule, and they too appeared optimistic at the time.

“Of course, while pursuing growth opportunities, we must recognise the challenges – including the very real environmental challenges – facing the sector and take positive steps to deal with them.

“I hope that today will inspire all involved in the sector – farmers, processors and government – to re-double our shared commitment to achieving the Food Wise 2025 vision for the sustainable growth of the sector,” Minister Creed concluded.

The conference, which will run until around 3:15pm this evening, will be made up of four sessions. These will be entitled: ‘Global Market Insights’; ‘Policy Drivers’; ‘Environmental Sustainability and Agri-Food’; and ‘Food Wise: Impact in a New Era’.

The conference will be made up of a mix of presentations and panel discussions. Stay tuned to AgriLand for further updates from the event throughout the day.