A number of significant advances were made in progressing beef access and restoring market access for live crab exports to China.
Farm Payments: Rural Development Programme spending of €601 million in 2017, including a new €25 million sheep welfare scheme and increased participation in GLAS, BDGP & TAMS. This is on top of €1.2 billion paid through the Basic Payments Scheme.
Funding of €445,000 for initiatives to promote and develop agri-food tourism projects in rural areas.
As part of Budget 2017, a “Fisher’s tax credit” of €1,270, was made available to those actively working on sea-fishing as employees, owner- operators or in a share-fisher capacity. It is designed to assist in attracting and retaining essential crew and delivers on the commitment to support jobs in rural communities.
Continue the roll out Rural Development Programme (AHW advice, KT, GLAS 3, TAMs including tillage, EIPs (i.e. Hen Harrier, Freshwater Pearl Mussel and Locally Led Open Call projects)).
AFM held two Water forums in December 2016 and March 2017 and published a Report entitled ‘Protecting and Enhancing Water for Sustainable Agriculture – Water-related measures for the agri- food, forestry and marine sectors’.
The €28 million in research grants awarded by DAFM included substantial funding towards the development of the new thought and technology leaders for the agri-food sector; the new investment will provide direct employment for 83 post graduate research opportunities in the form of PhDs (66) and Masters degrees (17).
Second Sustainability report on Origin Green published in February.
Launch in April of the new Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS).
Origin Green programme extended to cover all levels of the supply chain with the introduction of the Retail & Foodservice Sustainability Charter as part of a pilot programme.
Secured EU funding of €3.75 million promotion campaign for European beef and lamb across Asia.
Training to support businesses and sole traders to maximise the potential for selling at farmers’ markets.
In June, the USDA announced that Irish beef sold in the US from Bord Bia approved plants can carry the USDA quality mark, which guarantees that it has been raised on more than an 80% grass diet; out to pasture for six-eight months a year, on a sustainable, fully traceable family quality-assured farm; and has been raised without the use of growth hormones; and that the use of antibiotics have been treated responsibly.
Publications included: National Farm Survey 2016; 2017 Competitiveness of Irish Agriculture; Major & Micro Nutrient Advice for Productive Agricultural Crops (‘Green Book’); ‘Employing People: getting the basics right’ manual; and a ‘People in Dairy’ Report.
The third phase of the Teagasc/Farmers Journal BETTER Farm Beef Programme was launched in January with 27 farmer participants. All 27 participants are measuring grass and recording it on PastureBase Ireland. They have all had a Nutrient Management Plan completed for their farm along with a Herd Health Plan. Their advisers are currently working on having a farm plan completed for each farm over the coming months. Social media is being used to transfer the knowledge gained from the programme to the wider population of beef farmers alongside written articles and farm events that were common in the Phase 2 of the programme.
Teagasc ConnectEd programme has established a credible client base of almost 500 users in the first full year. The programme is the main conduit for organisations and individuals to avail of the resources and services of Teagasc. ConnectEd enables the provision of training, technical updates and the use web-based services in a fair and co- ordinated way. The use of the e-Profit Monitor, Carbon Navigator and the NMP Online stimulated by the DAFM RDP programmes have helped to standardise the skills and tools needed and this is supported through ConnectEd.
In March, BIM launched its revised certification standard to drive sustainability in the Irish Fishing Sector. BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood standard (RSS) is a third party accreditation that certifies fishing vessels that adhere to strict criteria regarding Care of the Catch, Traceability and Provenance, Training, Welfare and Social Sustainability.
Food Wise 2025: Steps to Success 2017 15 In February, BIM published ’The SELTRA sorting box: A highly selective gear for fish in the Irish Nephrops fishery’. The SELTRA is relatively simple in terms of construction, and requires minimal financial investment. Hence, the SELTRA has major potential to address issues with unwanted catches and challenges posed by the landing obligation in Nephrops fisheries. An indication of the effectiveness of the trials is evident in the subsequent ordering of new SELTRA codends by the trial vessels. This gear modification is eligible for financial support under BIM’s Sustainable Fisheries Scheme.
BIM’s project on controlling sea lice on salmon farms successfully demonstrated that Lumpsucker cleaner fish can be repeatedly and reliably produced in large numbers. Going forward BIM will focus its efforts on developing a special brood stock line of Lumpsucker cleaner fish best suited for breeding in the Irish environment
Job Commitments to EI Approvals – more than 758 jobs created.
Significant Client Investments – 22 Projects > €500k investment. Investments include Dawn Farm Foods, Nestle and O’Brien Fine Foods.
Food High Potential Start-ups – 8
The Thrive Project, a partnership between Coca-Cola and Enterprise Ireland sees seven entrepreneurial founders from the fastest growing food and drink start-ups attend an intense three- day boot camp in Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta. The programme runs for six months from June to November with a view to providing the seven start-up founders with insights, expertise and innovative ideas on branding, packaging and marketing from global experts at Coca Cola.