Dept of Agriculture Food Wise 2025

Key actions for 2017

2017 will be designated the Year of Grass to celebrate and optimise Ireland’s comparative advantages in terms of our sustainable, grass-fed production system. The strong reputation of Irish grass fed beef, sheep and dairy production can be further leveraged in the period to 2025 to ensure greater penetration of high value markets both in the EU and in third countries.

Grass is by far the cheapest feed source for dairy, beef and sheep production and underpins our competitiveness in these sectors.

Maximising grass in the diet benefits the bottom line for the farm but is also recognised as a key environmental ambition with for example ‘extended grazing’ contributing to reduced emissions.

Grassland is the predominant farming system but it is also clear that there is a lot of potential for improvement in capacity to grow grass, and also to improve utilisation of what is grown.

Food Wise 2025 has a series of actions relating to grass which will be prioritised during the ‘Year of Grass’.

“There will be a year-long programme of events in 2017 focussing on building on our natural advantages in grass production.”

Key Actions for 2017

Sustainability Human Capital Competitiveness Market Development Innovation
DAFM to finalise a sectoral plan for agriculture and forestry to inform the National Mitigation Plan under the National Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Act. Review of Level 5 and 6 QQI Agricultural Awards. Teagasc and other research providers to develop measures such as improved grazing management practices, increase soil fertility and sward renewal to increase grass utilisation by 2t/ha on livestock farms. DAFM to optimise the use of strategic trade missions to emerging markets to ensure market entry conversion. Establish a high level core team to review current agri-food sector innovation capacity, the utilisation of this capacity ad to better mark the Irish agri-food sector’s innovation skills.
Prioritise the process of bringing fishermen into the Origin Green programme using BIM’s responsible fishing standards and other environmental programme as an entry point. Completion of Teagasc Education Strategic Vision Project. Enterprise Ireland and BIM to develop a financial model for seafood sector which provides funding opportunities that both increase scale and deliver commercial return. DAFM to explore with relevant state agencies measures to better link in the agri-food sector with the experience of tourists, including the promotion of food, beverages and marine trails. Successful initial results of the Meat Technology Centre.
DAFM to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the scientific findings from the Agricultural Catchments Programme are integrated fully and appropriately into agri-environmental policies. Enterprise Ireland and BIM to continue to develop a series of tailored executive development programmes in the Seafood sector to prioritise leadership and management development, technical development (including safety and green manufacturing), and sales and marketing. To develop scale and export capability in the seafood processing sector, BIM, Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland to work collaboratively to scale up companies in the pelagic, whitefish and shellfish sectors and to bring a number of companies to PLC level. Successful initial results of The Thinking House. Enterprise Ireland to create a FDI and Innovation portal to improve connectivity across the Irish system for food and beverage companies.
DAFM to develop suitable monitoring programme in line with proposals under RDP 2014-2020 (GLAS) to monitor and report on the impact of RDP measures on biodiversity, climate and water quality. BIM to build market scaling of companies through its coopetition programme. Explore FDI opportunities through partnerships and Joint Venture approaches between Irish processors and MNCs in particular in areas such as life-stage nutrition. DAFM to continue to enhance and support Ireland’s animal health status and reputation for producing safe, high quality food. Improve coordination between industry, state agencies and research institutions to support the delivery of research which will deliver commercial outputs and products.
Adaptation and resilience of agri-food sector to future climate effects will be considered in policy development. Continue the Bord Bia ‘Marketing Fellowship, ‘Food Marketing Graduate’ and Origin Green Ambassador programmes. Ongoing review and updating of agri-taxation measures to address competitiveness issues. Further enhance the Origin Green programme as a tool to measure and demonstrate in domestic and global markets, Ireland’s credentials as a producer of sustainable, safe, nutritious and high quality food. Develop a food innovation hub to promote greater collaboration between industry and public research.