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Ireland's Agriculture Sector is Committed to Sustainable Growth

Speaking at the opening of the prestigious international Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference at UCD today, the new Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes emphasised the importance of a strong, sustainable Irish agriculture sector.

“Ireland continues to build on the strengths of its green image and is deeply committed to maintain sound agricultural practices. Our aim is to maximise the food production strengths that are intrinsic to the Irish agri-food sector, particularly our environmentally friendly grass based production system”.

The world population is set to increase to 9 billion by 2050. It is also projected that the increasing population, along with a growing middle class in large countries such as China and India, will lead to a 50% increase in demand for food production by 2030. It is vital that countries with efficient systems of agricultural food production such as Ireland are able to increase their production in the most sustainable manner so as to meet this critical food security challenge.

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has found that Ireland’s dairy industry has the lowest carbon footprint in Europe, while our beef production is also one of the most carbon-efficient. Since 2011, the rollout of Bord Bia’s Origin Green carbon footprint monitoring for all of its quality assured beef farms, has further enhanced Ireland’s beef production carbon efficiency profile at international level.

Concluding Minister Hayes saidBalancing the demands of producing more food to attain global food security for an ever increasing population while, at the same time combating climate change, is one of the most important challenges facing governments, industry and policy makers alike”.

Note for editor:

The international Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference is being hosted this year by Teagasc and UCD, and involves participation by scientific speakers and delegates from throughout the globe and builds on previous successful meetings in the series. The conference, which runs until the 26th June, will focus on advancements in the areas of animal derived greenhouse gas mitigation since the last meeting in Banff, Canada, in 2010. 

Date Released: 24 June 2013