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Minister McConalogue speaks at World Bank seminar

Minister McConalogue speaks at World Bank seminar

Concludes Washington DC leg of North America Trade Mission

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, has today concluded the first stage of a North American trade mission. Over the last few days, the Minister spoke at high profile Enterprise Ireland event in Chicago;  and launched Bord Bia’s ‘Spirit of Ireland’ spirits promotion in Columbus Ohio, before meeting the key US Government players in agricultural policy in Washington DC.

World Bank Seminar

Today (Thursday) Minister McConalogue opened a seminar co-hosted by the Embassy of Ireland and the World Bank in DC, on the topic: “Sustainable Food Systems: Nourishing the global population; Meeting climate targets; and Responding to the new context arising from the Ukraine crisis”.

Minister McConalogue reflected on the Ukraine crisis, reiterating the Irish Government’s outright condemnation of the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine; solidarity with the people of Ukraine; and support for the strongest possible sanctions against Russia.

On Sustainable Food Systems, Minister McConalogue said:  “The Ukraine crisis has impacted global food supply chains in multiple ways; creating significant risks in terms of food security and market disturbance. Some might argue that this should mean that we should prioritise security of food supply, if necessary at the expense of the environment.  However, my view is that, now more than ever, politicians and policy makers must work together to  ensure that we have  safe, health and nutritious food for our expanding global population, while protecting our shared planet. Climate action, biodiversity and environmental protection are absolutely vital to our future food security.”

“Ireland has long been a pioneer in sustainable food production – from our dedicated farmers and fishers to our pioneering and innovative processors, we have commitment to safe food excellence.  The Food Vision 2030 strategy was developed through a stakeholder-led process, and using a food systems approach, which recognises the interconnections between policies for food, health, environment and climate.” 

Minister McConalogue commented: “Ireland is fully committed to ensuring that last year’s UN  Food Systems Summit should lead to positive change in our global food systems. We are working with UN partners to ensure that supports are in place for countries in the developing world to devise and implement their own pathways.”

“Origin Green - which I believe is the world’s first national sustainability programme - already measures the footprint of our farming and food production, and feeds back practical advice on how to improve sustainability. Food Vision now sets a stretch ambition for the further development of Origin Green”.

“We are now at a critical juncture as global food producers – we can and must to do more in feeding an expanding population; and doing so safely and sustainably. In the face of conflict and war, we need to work together to ensure that global trade remains open, and supply chains continue to operate, so that the food security impacts on the most vulnerable can be addressed.”

The seminar was also addressed by Tom Arnold, who chaired the Food Vision 2030 process and is now Ireland’s Special Envoy on Food Systems, and by Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia.

Tom Arnold said: “Ireland’s commitment to be a leader in sustainable food systems has implications for our domestic and foreign policy.  Domestically, we must deliver on Food Vision 2030: in our foreign policy, we must partner with developing countries, particularly in Africa, in their journey to sustainable food systems”.

 Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said: “Sustainability is the ‘green thread’ that runs right through Bord Bia’s new three-year strategy, in line with the wider policy ambitions set out in Food Vision 2030. This ‘green thread’will contribute to the significant expansion in the value-growth of Irish food and drink exports worldwide while also strengthening Ireland’s supports and standards to reflect the high level of ambition required to meet both environmental challenges and market demands. 


“As highlighted in Food Vision 2030, Origin Green has been instrumental in monitoring and driving improvements in environmental sustainability and demonstrating this to trade customers and consumers, both at home and abroad. There is no doubt that the global challenges ahead are significant, but Origin Green provides a strong base from which to position Ireland and Irish food and drink as a global leader in sustainable food systems.”

Next stage of trade mission

Minister of State Martin Heydon TD will continue the next stage of this North America trade mission, leading engagements in Texas (today Thursday) and then moving on to Mexico.

Photo Captions

Both photos are of Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; addressing this morning’s joint seminar with the World Bank



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