Ireland presents its food vision in Washington

Irish officials last week presented the country’s vision for food in 2030 at a conference in Washington.

The vision is centered on recognizing the “interconnection of food, health and climate,” said Tom Arnold, special envoy on food systems for the government of Ireland. Arnold said he met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and with White House officials and believes that the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health could come up with a similar vision for the future.

Arnold said that the Irish government developed the food vision, which was released in 2021, with the approach that “all key actors along the food chain have a role to play.”

The food vision includes halving greenhouse gas emissions.

Charlie McConalogue, the Irish minister for agriculture, food and the marine, noted that the agri-food industry is the country’s oldest industry, with a particular advantage in grass-fed livestock production. But he noted that agriculture produces a disproportionate percentage of greenhouse gases compared with some other countries because Ireland has little heavy industry.

McConalogue acknowledged that European Union agricultural subsidies play a big role in Irish agricultural policy, but he said that “there has been a very significant shift at the European level.” He also noted that the European Common Agricultural Policy now allows more flexibility in policy at the levels of the member states.


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