International obligations on carbon emissions clearly recognise the fundamental priority of safeguarding food production. The Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue 1.5 degrees, addresses this specific point in Article 2 of that Agreement. There is a clear link with what was agreed in Paris and the UN Sustainable Development Goal two, which is to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture."
The Food Wise 2025 strategy aims to grow the Irish agri-food sector in an economic, environmental and socially sustainable manner, building on our strengths in the production of safe, healthy and nutritious food. Ireland is already one of the EU’s most efficient producers of milk and beef, in terms of carbon footprint per unit of output. Under Food Wise we are implementing measures to drive down the carbon intensity of our food production even further, resulting in both economic returns and environmental sustainability.
Food Wise 2025 includes clear and comprehensive commitments to managing the projected growth in the Irish agrifood sector in a sustainable way. The guiding principle underpinning this projected growth is that environmental protection and economic competitiveness will be considered as equal and complementary, one will not be achieved at the expense of the other.
Food Wise provides a framework for the agrisector to engage with the national mitigation plan and for the development of a common vision of transition to a low carbon future. There is a strong commitment in Food Wise 2025 to measure and monitor the sustainability credentials of the sector. As part of the implementation of Food Wise, an Environmental Sustainability Committee has been established. This implementation process will include evaluation and assessment of the delivery of sustainability and mitigation actions.