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Notice of Consultation for Scoping of Environmental Report for Agri-Food Strategy 2025

In accordance with EU Directive 2001/42/EC and the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programme) Regulations 2004 (SI 435 of 2004), the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine is carrying out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Draft Agri-Food Strategy 2025.

As an important part of the development of this strategy, the Department has procured an independent team of consultants, led by Phillip Farrelly and Co. to undertake an Environmental Analysis, incorporating a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA).

In accordance with the provisions of Regulation (11) of S.I. No. 435/2004 - European Communities (Environmental Assessment of certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2014 the views of stakeholders are invited to provide observations on the scoping phase of this process.

The report is required to include the information that may reasonably be required, taking into account:

i. current knowledge and methods of assessment,

ii. the contents and level of detail in the plan,

iii. the stage of the plan in the decision-making process, and

iv. the extent to which certain matters are more appropriately assessed at different levels in the decision-making process in order to avoid duplication of environmental assessment.

As you may be aware in December 2014 the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine published a consultation questionnaire on the Agri-Food Strategy 2025. It called for views on the progress that has been made under the Food Harvest 2020 Strategy and suggestions as to what can be done better over the next decade to further develop the agri-food sector in Ireland. This document is available on the Department's website at

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/2025strategy/

Information on the SEA process was provided at a Scoping Workshop held on Thursday 9th April 2015. This provided an initial consultation platform to address key issues in an open debate environment. To facilitate this, a draft Issues Paper for SEA (which included the draft objectives of the Agri-Food Strategy 2025) and Policy Guidance Note for AA were circulated to attendees at this workshop.

A written submission or observation in relation to the scope and level of detail to be included in the environmental report may be provided as soon as possible, but no later than Friday 8th May 2015. To inform this please find below links to download and access copies of the draft Issues Paper and draft Policy Guidance Note that have been prepared by the team of consultants.

Submissions may be sent by email to 2025strategy@agriculture.gov.ie or by post to: Economics and Planning Division, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Agriculture House 6 Centre, Kildare Street Dublin 2.