Ireland sets a global standard for sustainable agriculture and food production
The provision of food security for the world’s growing population in a way that is environmentally sustainable is one of the great challenges for agriculture and society. Our natural assets face increased pressure that requires a commitment to sustainable production. Critical to this is also the security of the environment that protects our natural resources and reduces our emissions and waste.
The agri-food sector is the largest indigenous industry in Ireland. It operates in rural communities to provide sources of income and employment and also makes use of the natural capital and resources.
The awareness of these core factors in Irish agriculture has positioned sustainability at the centre of the sector’s long-term vision Food Wise 2025, which states that: “Environmental sustainability and economic sustainability are equal and complementary – one cannot be achieved at the expense of the other.”
Ireland is already one of the world’s most efficient food producers through continued action to drive down the emission intensity of Ireland’s livestock production. Most notably this has been achieved through the world’s first national sustainability programme, Origin Green, which commits its current 500+ participating companies and farms to improvements and measurement of their sustainability performance.
A larger network of agri-environmental initiatives coupled with our focus on scientific research ensures and encourages farming practices that underpin our sustainability credentials. Our ambition to be a leader in sustainable food production requires a sustained collaborative effort. This aim is shared by the government, farmers and the food industry in Ireland.
In Food Wise 2025, we embrace collaboration to meet the complex challenges and deliver the opportunities for environmental and economic sustainability for all our stakeholders. The ambition that we can do more to advance our goals, such as the expansion of Origin Green, is firmly embedded in our strategy.
I believe in Ireland’s long-term commitment and collaborative approach to improving the environmental footprint of the agri-food sector. It is an important global example of sustainable action in agriculture, food production and environmental protection.