Food Wise 2025, the new ten year strategy for the agri-food sector published in July 2015, is the successor to the Food Harvest strategy. It identifies the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and provides an enabling strategy that will allow the sector to grow and prosper. Food Wise includes more than 400 specific recommendations, spread across the cross-cutting themes of sustainability, innovation, human capital, market development and competitiveness; as well as specific sectoral recommendations.
If these recommendations are implemented, the expert committee which drew up the Food Wise 2025 Strategy believes that the following growth projections are achievable by 2025: increasing the value of agri-food exports by 85% to €19 billion; increasing value added in the sector by 70% to in excess of €13 billion; and increasing the value of primary production by 65% to almost €10 billion. With regard to employment, Food Wise foresees the creation of 23,000 additional jobs in the agri-food sector all along the supply chain from primary production to high value added product development. Realising these growth projections will be challenging, but I am confident that they can be achieved.
In July last year, I launched the first annual progress report of Food Wise 2025: Steps to Success 2016. Food Wise Steps to Success showed that, of the 330 detailed actions which were due to commence in 2015 or 2016, 28% have been achieved or substantial action has been undertaken; and a further 67% have commenced and are progressing well. I believe that this is a good start and I will press on to get as many actions as possible completed within the next year.
Next month, I will launch the second annual progress report of Food Wise 2025: Steps to Success 2017.