McConalogue announced, in line with a priority action in the Food Vision 2030 strategy, he was setting up a Food Vision Dairy Group, whose first task will be to “produce a detailed plan by Q2 2022 to manage the sustainable environmental footprint of the dairy sector.”
McConalogue said, “A key priority for the Food Vision Dairy Group is ensuring that we continue to provide a platform of sustainability for our farmers and our sector. This is economic, environmental and societal sustainability. The new group will be chaired by Professor Gerry Boyle and will include representatives from the farming organizations, the dairy industry, my department and relevant agencies. I’m delighted that someone of Professor Boyle’s stature will lead this really important body of work.”
McConalogue assured stakeholders he was confident that by working together, “we can stabilize and then reduce emissions from the dairy sector, positioning Ireland as a world leader in sustainable food systems, meeting our climate targets, and ensuring that the market delivers a reward for our quality, sustainably-produced food, particularly for our farmers as the bedrock of the sector.
“We want to ensure that we continue to have a sector that is vibrant and attractive to new entrants. We have to think about how we ensure that there is space for generational renewal and new entrants to the sector, or for those with marginal enterprises to improve viability, and space to encourage innovation and value addition."
The Minister stressed an essential first step is to develop and implement the plan to stabilize and then reduce emissions associated with the dairy sector, which would will give sufficient headroom for the measures in the Climate Action Plan, and the supports for farmers in the draft CAP Strategic Plan, to work effectively.
The first meeting of the Food Vision Dairy Group will take place in early February.