Future of beef and 2025 targets to go under the Oireachtas microscope

The future of the beef sector in the context of Food Wise 2025 will be the key focus for the next meeting of the Joint Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The committee will be meeting with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine tomorrow (Tuesday, February 19) to discuss the topic.

Food Wise 2025 sets out a 10-year plan for the agri-food sector, underlining the sector’s unique and special position within the Irish economy, and it illustrates the potential which exists for this sector to grow even further.

The committee has particular interest in the opportunities identified by the department, which states that Food Wise 2025 identifies significant growth opportunities across all subsectors of the Irish agri-food industry.

Cumulatively, it projects exports have the potential to grow to €19 billion per annum in value by 2025 – a figure that would represent an 85% increase from the current three-year average.

This export growth will be driven chiefly by expansion in dairy, beef, seafood and consumer food and drinks exports.

Ahead of the meeting, committee chair Pat Deering said: “The strengths and weaknesses of the beef sector will be discussed, along with future opportunities.

“It is hoped that that the information provided by the Department of Agriculture in this regard will assist the committee in assessing if the goal of increasing exports to €19 billion per annum is achievable, with a public consultation to follow.”

The information gathered from submissions resulting from the public consultation, along with any additional information which arises from the committee’s engagements with witnesses, will be analysed and used to inform the committee’s report on this topic.

Deputy Deering added: “The ultimate aims of the report will be to illustrate the viability, or otherwise, of the beef sector in the pursuance of the goal of increasing exports as set out in Food Wise 2025 and to provide recommendations which will assist in strengthening the beef sector as a whole.

“This will be done through a detailed investigation of the information received by the department. “

The meeting will begin at 3:30pm in Committee Room 1, Leinster House.