The government has established on a permanent basis the Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has said.

The SFSI was initially established on a trial basis in 2014. Its aim is to share Ireland’s expertise in agri-food systems to international partners to strengthen their systems for things like food security, sustainability, productivity and safety.

The government confirmed yesterday (Tuesday, March 30) that the SFSI initiative would be made permanent.

We can be proud of the progress that the Irish agri-food sector has made in recent decades to become a supplier of the highest quality food, with a strong reputation in terms of food safety, innovation and agri-technology.

“The SFSI provides a brand to share our Irish government expertise in food systems with partner countries internationally, on a commercial basis,” Minister McConalogue commented.

He added: “The service provided by SFSI have added benefits for Ireland, as better relationships can open the door for new trade opportunities, our reputation is enhanced, and our agri-food agencies can also play a role in Ireland’s development cooperation activities.”

The SFSI is a collaborative project between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Enterprise Ireland; Teagasc; Bord Bia; and Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

The initiative provides consultancy and training services, on a commercial basis, to clients around the world, including partner governments, regions and sectors.

The SFSI will have an executive team based in the department, which will work with other founding agencies in areas like food safety; dairy sector development; food systems; animal disease control; agri-food innovation; and knowledge transfer.