Teagasc operates as a non-commercial state agency under the aegis of my Department. I understand that Teagasc engages in on-going consultation with stakeholders through a network of consultative committees and through input from stakeholder representatives on the Teagasc Authority. I have asked Teagasc to provide further information directly to the Deputy on the level of engagement as this is an operational matter for Teagasc in the first instance.
My Department is committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders to achieve optimal outcomes for the agri food sector including protection of the environment. We engage with environmental stakeholders through the Environmental Pillar which is made up of national environmental non-governmental organisations who work together to represent the views of the Irish environmental sector. Engagement takes place across a wide range of issues including major policies such as the CAP where they are represented on the CAP Consultative Committee. My officials also have ongoing engagement on a formal and informal basis with the Environmental Pillar and/or its organisations. I also met with the Environmental Pillar earlier this year. My Department is committed to ongoing consultation to improve the environmental sustainability of agriculture and land use.