Plans for a new Agri-Food Strategy up to 2025 were announced yesterday by Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney.
He said this strategy will be developed by a committee of leading figures from the agri-food sector and will set out the key actions required to maximise its contribution to economic growth, job creation and environmental sustainability over the next decade.
The agri-food sector is playing an integral part in Ireland’s economic recovery and is the country’s largest indigenous industry, contributing €26bn in turnover and generating 12.3% of merchandise exports.
It accounts for around 170,000 jobs or 9% of employment, and makes a significant contribution to employment in rural areas.
Food and Beverage exports increased to a record value of €10bn in 2013 representing an increase of 9% on the previous year and a 40% increase since 2009.
Mr Coveney said John Moloney,the former group managing director of Glanbia plc, will chair the committee whose report is expected to be published in July, 2015.
The minister also opened a public consultation on the strategy, with submissions invited from organisations and individuals. The deadline for submissions is January 9.
He said the agri-food sector has already demonstrated a capacity for growth and development, even in the most challenging times.
“It is clear to me that much more can be achieved if we focus our efforts on the extraordinary opportunities presented by growing global food demand,” he said.
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