“Since its launch last July, Food Wise 2025 has evolved from a high level strategy into a shared blueprint for all involved in the sector.”
Since its launch last July, Food Wise 2025 has evolved from a high level strategy into a shared blueprint for all involved in the sector. Food Wise was agreed by a committee of stakeholders – from farm organisations, the food industry, the retail sector, NGOs and academics - with the secretariat provided by my Department in collaboration with all relevant State agencies.
The Programme for Partnership Government (PfP) identifies agriculture as the heartbeat of the rural economy. The agri-food commitments in the Programme for Government align closely with Food Wise 2025.
The implementation process for any strategy is vital for its success. I will continue to chair the Food Wise High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC), with representatives from all the relevant Departments and State agencies. This committee reviews progress on a quarterly basis, in order to identify and solve problems quickly. Stakeholders regularly present to the committee on their priorities for particular sectors or themes and by the end of this year, the HLIC will have reviewed in detail progress on the five cross-cutting themes and the twelve individual sectors outlined in Food Wise 2025. So it is very much a live and continuously updated process.
Progress on each of the recommendations in Food Wise is measured on a quarterly basis. Of the 330 actions which were due to commence in 2015 or 2016, 28% have been achieved or substantial action has been undertaken; and a further 67% have commenced and are progressing well. This is a good start and I will press on with getting as many actions as possible complete within the next year. A detailed report on the status of all the ongoing actions is available on the Department’s website at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/foodwise2025/
I believe that Ireland is well positioned to be the world leader in sustainable food production.
“Future prospects are advantageous and exciting for all stakeholders: farmers and rural Ireland, processors and manufacturers, agri-business and exporters.”
Commodity price volatility has been an increasing feature of agricultural markets, and I will prioritise measures to assist the sector to better manage and plan for volatility. The result of the UK vote will also bring challenges for the sector and addressing these challenges will be given the highest priority by Government in the year ahead.
In the longer term, future prospects are advantageous and exciting for all stakeholders: farmers and rural Ireland, processors and manufacturers, agri-business and exporters; and the sector will continue play a pivotal role in our economic recovery.
Finally, I would like to thank all who have worked so hard to ensure we got off to a good start. I encourage everyone involved in the agri-food sector to work together to build on the success of year one and move towards achieving the vision for the sustainable growth set out in Food Wise 2025.
Michael Creed, TD
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine