Food Wise 2025 is the current ten-year strategy for the agri-food sector and underlines the sector’s unique and special position within the Irish economy. It identifies the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and provides an enabling strategy that will allow the sector to develop and prosper. Food Wise includes more than 400 specific recommendations, spread across the five cross-cutting themes of environmental sustainability, market development, competitiveness, innovation and human capital.
If these recommendations are implemented, the expert committee which drew up the Food Wise 2025 Strategy, believed 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.
In July 2019, I launched the fourth annual progress report of Food Wise 2025, Steps to Success 2019. This showed that by 2018, estimated exports had increased by almost 20%, primary production increased by over 13% and the sector’s value addition to the economy was over 24% compared to the baseline.
As of quarter 2 2019, of the 376 detailed actions which were due to commence by 2019 or are ongoing actions; 87% have been achieved or substantial action has been undertaken and the remainder have commenced and are progressing well.