Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue is today (Thursday, November 3) addressing a meeting of more than 45 agriculture ministers from around the world at a major global conference in Paris, France.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has described the “triple challenge” for food systems: To ensure food security and nutrition for a growing population; to support the livelihoods of millions of people working in the food supply chain; and to do so in an environmentally sustainable way. 

Today and tomorrow (Friday, November 4) more than 45 Ministers of Agriculture from OECD member and non-member countries are meeting in Paris to agree on solutions for ‘Building Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in a Changing Environment’.

McConalogue addresses agri ministers

Minister McConalogue has been outlining Ireland’s national statement. He said: “Ireland has a vision of becoming the sustainable food capital of the world.

“We have an advanced food system, exporting high-quality, safe and nutritious food to more than 180 global markets. Our innovative agri-food strategy, Food Vision 2030, seeks to strike the optimum balance across the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social.

“Ireland’s approach to building a model that seeks to further strengthen all elements of sustainability to make our agri-food sector a world-leader in this space,” the minister’s speech added.

“Working with everyone in the industry, including our farmers, fishers and food producers, who are the bedrock of the industry, ensures that everyone has their voice heard.”

Minister McConalogue also commented on how global events, including the illegal invasion of Ukraine, are impacting food supply chains. 

“Recent events are challenging everyone’s assumptions on food security. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine shows how conflict creates immediate humanitarian issues for the people concerned but can also have significant consequences for people not directly involved,” McConalogue stated.

“Critically it raises questions about the overall resilience of the global food system, especially the impacts on developing countries.

“We must stand united and support Ukraine to help ensure global trade is maintained. The continued work of the Black Sea initiative is vitally important. The weaponising of food by Russia shows that we must continue to build resilience.”

A Ministerial Declaration outlining the outcome of the discussions will be published tomorrow.