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Minister Smith to convene and chair Food Harvest 2020 Implementation Group

-Priority now to drive plan to realise full potential of agri-food industry-

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that he has convened the first meeting of the Food Harvest 2020 implementation group, which he will chair next week.

Minister Smith was speaking at the Agriculture Science Association conference in Co Carlow where he reiterated his personal commitment "to lead and drive the implementation of this report.  For this purpose I have established a very focused high-level group with a flexible structure, whose meetings I will personally chair."

The Minister said that the one of the group's first tasks will be "to consider, prioritise and drive the actions necessary to realise the full potential of this key indigenous sector."  In addition to the high-level group, designed to ensure a fully joined-up and coherent state response to the task of implementation, the Minister also indicated his intention "to convene the group in other formations to allow farmers, co-ops and food companies to step up to the plate and demonstrate in a practical way their determination to contribute fully to this joint national effort."

Minister Smith said that the first meeting of the implementation group will "ensure that the momentum of the publication of Food Harvest 2020 is now built upon and that the priorities of implementation are identified and agreement reached on how the major issues are to be dealt with."

Date Released: 10 September 2010