By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Smith Chairs Meeting of Food Harvest 2020 Implementation Committee

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today chaired the latest in a series of meetings of the Food Harvest 2020 Implementation Committee.

Today's meeting reviewed the progress made to date in achieving the recommendations set out in the Food Harvest 2020 report.  Minister Smith said that "a clear momentum had now been established in implementing the FH 2020 recommendations and, through my chairmanship of the Implementation Committee, I want to ensure that this momentum is maintained and built on over the coming months."

The Minister said that the Implementation Committee had been dealing with issues relating to the development of the 'Brand Ireland' concept, as well as the opportunities identified across a number of sectors, including the dairy, beef and aquaculture sectors.

Minister Smith said that opportunities for the agriculture and agri-food sectors had been highlighted in the growth prospects for Irish food, drink and horticulture, published last week by Bord Bia.  The Minister said that the "very encouraging prospects for 2011 demonstrated the critical importance of the sector in terms of economic recovery and job maintenance and creation."

The roadmap towards dairy expansion was presented by Sean Brady. The Minister acknowledged Dr Brady's work in completing this exercise in a short period and asked that he continue to facilitate the process and monitor progress.

The Minister also confirmed that a Beef Action Group will shortly be established to implement the recommendations in the Food Harvest report relating to the development of the beef sector.

Minister Smith said that the strong performance in 2010 and the positive outlook for 2011 serve to underline the ambitious medium-term growth targets in Food Harvest 2020.  "The Irish food industry is a highly innovative and technologically advanced sector operating in a growing world market and my Department, Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland and all the state services are working closely with the very talented people in the industry to maximise its potential for economic growth and job creation over the coming years."

The Minister said that it was important that the full potential of the agri-food sector is fully exploited and that all of the stakeholders play their part in ensuring that the key recommendations of the Food Harvest report are fully implemented.  "The report sets the scene for the development of our agri-food, drinks fisheries and forestry sector for the next decade. Getting our future priorities right will be fundamental to growing our most valuable indigenous industry. The report underlines the sector's unique and special position within the Irish economy and it illustrates the potential which exists to grow even further."

Date Released: 19 January 2011