The Department of Agriculture held an open policy debate on Ireland’s Agri-Food Strategy to 2030. We detail the range of areas discussed here. Two of the key messages were that the environment will play a central role in shaping agri-food strategies over the next decade and the need to focus on driving premium rather than volume.

The principle of setting targets and putting in place a roadmap for the development of the sector over the next 10 years is strong. Food Harvest 2020, developed under the Fianna Fáil-led Government in 2010, clearly demonstrated the potential for agriculture to grow its contribution to the Irish economy. There is no doubt that a roadmap showing potential for the sector to grow output by 42% – or to €12bn – helped keep the importance of the sector in focus during the five years of austerity budgets which followed.