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Minister launches Booklet to Raise Awareness of Global Hunger and to mark United World Food Day 2013

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today launched a ‘World Food - Facts, Figures and Activities’ booklet to mark United Nations World Food Day (16 October 2013). The booklet is aimed at raising awareness amongst school children of the serious challenges faced by the world’s poor while highlighting the real potential in these countries if they are provided opportunities to develop their agriculture production in a sustainable manner.

In launching the booklet Minister Coveney underlined the role Irish agriculture can play in reducing world poverty and hunger. He stated his belief that ‘Ireland, as a major food producer and a leading innovator in agriculture technologies, can make a significant contribution to tackling global hunger. Whether it is the continued production of sustainable products, enhanced cooperation with poorer countries, partnerships between Irish companies and companies in developing countries there are many ways for Ireland to continue to make a valuable contribution.’

The booklet is the result of collaboration between Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Gorta, Agri-Aware, Concern, Junior Achievement Ireland and Irish Aid. It will be circulated as a supplement to the Irish Times on Saturday, 12 October and will also be distributed directly to schools around the country.

Minister Coveney stated: ‘I hope that this publication can be a useful tool for both schools and parents to use in discussions with their students and children about world hunger and raise awareness of the role that sustainable agriculture in Ireland and Africa can and must play if global hunger is to be eradicated.’

Other contributors to the booklet made the following comments:

Sean Gaule, Gorta Chairman

‘Gorta, as an NGO with close relations with the FAO, has been associated with World Food Day since its inception. I am delighted that 2013 is the year when collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Agri Aware and others has allowed us to produce an excellent document such as this which will bring the message of World Food Day to a national audience.  

Bernard Donohue, Chairman of Agri Aware and Executive Director, Dr. Vanessa Woods

‘World Food Day isn’t just a celebration of culture and nutrition, nor is it solely a way to address world hunger. Increasingly, rather, it is about education – teaching young people about food origin and sustainability, to ensure a safe supply of food for the years and future generations to come.’

Dominic MacSorely, CEO, Concern Worldwide  

‘This booklet demonstrates the kind of approach we need to end world hunger, with Government and State bodies, NGOs and the private sector all working together. Concern is delighted to join this partnership and hopes that primary students all over the country will enjoy the booklet and learn a great deal from it.’

Helen Raftery, CEO, Junior Achievement Ireland

‘Junior Achievement Ireland is delighted to collaborate with the D/AFM and all the agencies involved in promoting World Food Day in Ireland. By joining with our friends in Junior Achievement Uganda to relay the stories of one Irish and one Ugandan student who tell of their involvement in food production, we hope the students' message of the importance of working hard in school and the enjoyment our writers get from their work in food production resonates with younger readers.

added 11.10.13

Pictured above:  Michael Doory (Concern), Gareth Crowe (Gorta Community Fundraising Manager), Vanessa Woods (Agriaware), Minister Simon Coveney, Bernard Donohue, Chairman of Agri Aware, Noel Keogh (Gorta) and Helen Raftery (CEO, Junior Achievement Ireland) with children from Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire, Parnell Square, Dublin.

Date Released: 11 October 2013