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Minister Coveney Announces Food Wise 2025 A Ten Year Strategy for the Irish Agri Food Sector which Projects Exports to Increase to €19 Billion and Create 23,000 New Jobs by 2025

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, Ministers of State Tom Hayes TD and Ann Phelan TD today announced plans for a new ten year strategy for the agri food sector, aptly named Food Wise 2025.

Food Wise 2025 was officially launched by An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD who stated; The Government is rebuilding an economy that is enterprise focused and can support sustainable full employment by 2018. This means growing each enterprise sector across the economy and creating jobs in all four corners of Ireland. Ireland's agri-food industry has led the way in Ireland's recovery. Food Wise 2025 builds on this success by identifying smarter and greener ways to deliver sustainable growth so that it can contribute to our ongoing recovery."

Speaking at the launch Minister Coveney said that “Ireland’s agri-food industryis on a sustainable journey, one that is connecting local communities across the island to vast and diverse food markets around the globe. Food Wise 2025 sets out a vision for the industry to continue along this path of sustainable growth and recognises the strategic importance of specific market and consumer insights if emerging global opportunities are to be fully realised in the decade ahead”.

Minister Coveney thanked the 2025 Agri Food Strategy chairman Mr John Moloney and the thirty-five members of the Committee for their outstanding commitment to this process.

Global demand for high quality, safe and nutritious food continues to grow rapidly and there is ever increasing demand in particular in emerging markets in Asia and Africa. The world wants more food but also wants more sophisticated food solutions to match modern lifestyles, different life-stage requirements and to deliver nutritional and health benefits.

Food Wise 2025 predicts that over the next decade Ireland can;

  • increase the value of agri food exports by 85% to €19 billion,
  • increase value added to the sector by 70% to €13 billion,
  • increase the value of primary production by 65% to €10 billion.

 This should deliver a further 23,000 jobs in the agri food sector by 2025.

The key messages from Food Wise 2025 are:

  • The Irish agri-food sector has been very resilient throughout the recent economic turbulence with significant development within the sector. Food and Drink exports have out-performed other sectors of the economy (45% growth in Irish Ag-food exports compared to 4% for overall merchandise exports 2009-2014 period)
  • Food Wise 2025 has new ambitions for the sector for further growth, growth which is sustainable – economically, socially and environmentally
  • Food Wise 2025 has harnessed the collective wisdom, experience and knowledge of leading industry stakeholders and sets a course for the industry of smarter greener more sustainable growth over the next decade
  • Food Wise 2025 is a statement of intent from the industry to capitalise on a host of new growth opportunities arising from the ever-increasing global demand for food and for new and innovative food solutions. Ireland is well placed to meet these demands given our comparative advantage in producing a range of sustainable, safe, nutritious and innovative food products.

This modern, vibrant industry provides exciting opportunities for educated, innovative and entrepreneurial people to realise their own aspirations and drive the sector towards ambitious new levels of growth and development over the coming decade” added Minister Coveney.

Minister of State Tom Hayes T.D. said,Food Wise 2025 captures the considerable complexity of the agri food sector and highlights that getting our future priorities right will be fundamental to growing our most valuable indigenous industry including the forestry and horticulture sectors”.

Speaking at the launch Minister of State Ann Phelan TD, commented “I am particularly heartened by the focus in the report on rural diversification, entrepreneurial development and agri-food and marine tourism. These elements are key to the sustained development of rural communities and I am now looking forward to the implementation phase which will have a positive impact on rural communities right across the country”.

With over 350 recommendations, Food Wise 2025 is very detailed. That detail is vital. Food Wise 2025 sets out a comprehensive plan for the development of Ireland’s agri-food sector over the next decade. Getting our future priorities right will be fundamental to growing our most valuable indigenous industry. Food Wise 2025 captures the considerable complexity of this sector. It underlines its unique and special position within the Irish economy and illustrates the potential for significant further growth within the sector.

‘Local Roots Global Reach’ is the key theme of Food Wise 2025. It is a sector unlike any other given its strategic importance to the Irish economy, its roots in local communities throughout the country and its rapidly increasing global reach.

Sustainability is a major aspect of this report. As part of the Food Wise 2025 process, a draft Environmental Analysis Report (incorporating a Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Appropriate Assessment) has been prepared in parallel and this environmental assessment has been taken into account in drafting Food Wise 2025. The draft Environmental Analysis Report is now available on the Department’s website and an eight week public consultation period runs to Friday the 28th August.

Minister Coveney concluded by saying “I am committed to putting in place a robust implementation process to monitor progress and deliver on the ambitious projections in the report”.

Note for editors:

‘Agri-Food Sector’ includes: primary agriculture, the food and beverage industry, fisheries and fish processing, forestry and forestry processing.

Food Wise is available on the Department website at

The draft Environmental Analysis Report is also up on the Department’s website at   for public consultation for an eight week period with a closing date of Friday the 28th August 2015.

John Moloney is the former Group Managing Director of Glanbia Plc and is currently a Non Executive Director of DCC Plc Group, Smurfit Kappa Plc, Greencore Plc and is Chairman of Coillte.

The composition of the Committee is as follows:

Chair:                   John Moloney

Helen Brophy, Director of Executive Education at UCD
Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Laura Burke (CEO and Chair) of EPA

Carmel Cahill, Senior Counsellor, OECD Trade and Agriculture

Kieran Calnan, Chair of BIM

Michael Carey, Chair of Bord Bia

Vincent Carton, CEO / Managing Director, Cartons

Noel Cawley, Chair of Teagasc

Vincent Cleary, Managing Director Glenisk

John Comer, President of ICMSA

Donal Dennehy, Operations Director, Danone Ireland

Michael Dowling, Chairman-designate, Kerry Group PLC

Eddie Downey, President of IFA

Siobhan Egan, Senior Policy Officer, Birdwatch

Pat Glennon, Managing Director, Glennon Brothers

Jim Hanley, Chief Executive, Rosderra

Michael Hoey, Managing Director, Country Crest

John Horgan, Chief Executive, Kepak          

Alan Jagoe, Progressive farmer

Martin Keane, President of ICOS

Caroline Keeling, Chief Executive, Keelings

Tony Keohane, Chairman, Tesco Ireland

Patrick Kent, President of ICSA

Kevin Lane, Chief Executive, Irish Dairy Board

Anna Malmhake, Chairman and CEO, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Tom Moran, former Secretary General of the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Larry Murrin, CEO of Dawn Farm Foods

Sean O’Donoghue, CEO of Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation

Kieran O’Dowd, ex President of Macra Na Feirme

John O’Reilly, Food Analyst, Davy’s

Larry O’Reilly, Cereal farmer

Prof Dolores O’Riordan, Director of the Institute of Food and Health (UCD)

Terence O’Rourke, Chair of Enterprise Ireland

Eddie Power, Managing Director, 2 Sisters Food Group

Prof Paul Ross, Prof of Research (UCC)

Siobhan Talbot, Group Managing Director, Glanbia

Secretariat: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland

Date Released: 02 July 2015