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Coveney Raises Awareness of Global Hunger and Marks United Nations World Food Day 2014

United Nations World Food Day is marked each year on 16 October and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of global hunger and poverty issues.  World Food Day 2014 has the theme Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” in line with the 2014 United Nations International Year of Family Farming.

Commenting on global hunger, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD, highlighted that there are many global challenges due to increased demand for food and pointed out that Ireland has a role to play in addressing these challenges. He stated “the global population is forecasted to grow by 2 billion people by 2050 resulting in substantial increased demand for food, while at the same time there will be ever increasing pressure on natural resources such as water and biodiversity. Ireland is fully committed to playing its part in addressing these global challenges whether it be through enhanced production of sustainable and healthy food products, enhanced cooperation with poorer countries, partnerships between Irish companies and companies in developing countries and development of new innovative agriculture technologies which can benefit producers around the world “.

Minister Coveney made his comments in support of an educational poster aimed at raising awareness amongst children of the serious challenges faced by the world’s poor which will be circulated in Farmer’s Journal and the Irish Times. Minister Coveney reiterated his belief that Irish family farmers are and must continue to play their part through the production of high quality food and closer cooperation with developing countries. “I believe that Irish Family farmers continue to have an increasingly important role in addressing future global challenges associated with food and nutrition security. The Irish Agri-food sector, led by Irish family farmer producers, is and must continue to produce high quality sustainable food to meet the growing global demand, develop innovative production methods which will produce more while using less resources and share its vast range of  agricultural expertise and knowledge with agriculture producers around the world”, said the Minister.

The poster is the result of a second year of collaboration around UN World Food Day between the Department and a number of Irish NGOs - Gorta-Self Help Africa, Agri-Aware and Concern. It will be circulated as a supplement to the Farmers Journal on Thursday, 9 October and the Irish Times on Saturday, 11 October. The poster will also be available to download from the website www.worldfoodday.ie along with copies of last year’s World Food Day collaboration ‘World Food Facts and Activity’ booklet.

Minister Coveney stated “I hope that this poster can be a useful tool for both schools and parents to use in discussions with their students and children about global challenges associated with food and nutrition security and raise awareness of the role that sustainable agricultural practices in Ireland and around the world can and must play if global hunger is to be eradicated”.

The other contributors to the poster made the following comments:

Dominic MacSorely, CEO Concern Worldwide: “Great strides have been made in combating world hunger in recent years however with 840 million people still hungry we have a long way to go. To end world hunger we must all work together; governments, state bodies, NGOs, farmers, and the private sector. This very informative World Food Day poster is just one small example of that in action”.

Ray Jordan,  CEO Gorta-Self Help Africa: “ As an organisation committed to supporting rural poor people so that they can grow enough and have enough food to eat, we are delighted to be involved in this poster project to mark World Food Day in Ireland.  It is vital that young people have a firm understanding about how and where our food is produced, and  also have some insight into the challenges that still exist if we are to ensure that every person in the world has enough to eat”.

Bernard Donohue, Chairman of Agri Aware and Executive Director of Agri Aware, Dr. Vanessa Woods, said  “World Food Day is an important day to educate students and the general public about the key role of farmers and the agri-food industry in providing quality, safe and traceable food for consumers. Some 140,000 Irish farmers produce enough food to feed 36 million people at home and across the world. The importance of Irish farmers in delivering guaranteed access to this quality food for consumers must be communicated. Agri Aware, the Irish agri-food educational body, is delighted to be involved in this important initiative and we hope that this educational poster will be used in homes and schools across Ireland by consumers of all ages”.

 

Added 08.10.14

Minister Simon Coveney pictured with Dr Vanessa Woods, Executive Director , Agri Aware, Grace Kane, Peter Power, Gorta - Self-Help Africia, Rory McCabe, Bernard Donohoe, Chairman, Agri Aware and Caoiomhe McCabe.

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 143/2014 (pdf 647Kb) 

Date Released: 08 October 2014