In November 2016 DAFM, with DJEI involvement, hosted a workshop on future skills needs for the food industry. This proved a very useful format for engaging with stakeholders from the food and beverage industry, trade unions and academics on the skills gaps facing the industry, from factory workers to top executives and gathering practical ideas of how to address these issues. The recommendations from this workship were jointly published by DAFM and DJEI entitled the 2017 Report of Future Skills Needs in the Food and Drinks Sector in April.
DAFM held a Workshop on Skills Needs at farm level in April with representatives from farm operatives, farmers & farm managers and next generation farmers. DAFM is working to progress the recommendations arising from this workshop.
Teagasc in conjunction with the National Rural Network held Expand your Horizons seminars in 28 locations around the country. These seminars dealt with promoting diversification options and possible LEADER funding available to farmers.
Bord Bia partnered with the Agricultural Science Association to roll out a joint promotional programme for a revised Language Bursary programme. The revised programme will be rolled out with the UCD School of Agriculture for 2017/18 academic year.
The DAFM Agriculture Cash Flow Support Loan Scheme, in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), made €150 million in working capital loans available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%.
DAFM and industry progressed the development of producer organisations in the beef and horticulture sectors.
Food Works, the food entrepreneurship programme focused on high-potential start-ups, is undertaken on behalf of Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, who collectively run and support the programme.
Teagasc has agreed to partner with Science Foundation Ireland in a themed call as part of its 2016 Investigators Programme. The themed call aims to link agri-food researchers with ICT researchers.
Enterprise Ireland expanding reach in collaboration with Bord Bia (Internationalisation Pilot programme)
The National Agri-food Research and Innovation Group (NAFRI) is reviewing coordination of agri-food research technology centres to ensure resources are applied most efficiently including exploration of how best to join up existing centres of excellence.