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"Because we have very little heavy industry in Ireland, a
disproportionate element of our greenhouse gas emissions
relates to agriculture. Every other country in Europe will face the
same agricultural issues in the future that we are facing now. In
Germany, where agriculture only accounts for per cent of the
economy, their immediate challenge is in energy and related
issues. When those are brought under control they will be faced
with solving livestock and other agricultural emissions problems.
Right now we are in the forefront. There is a real intent in Ireland
to address our emissions targets in the years ahead and that
includes agriculture. We can achieve success both in terms
of growing our food sector and meeting our climate change
"We have to keep
getting the message
out around the cost
of delivering food of a
very high standard to
the marketplace. At the
same time we cannot
let the business be
undermined by deals
that deliver cheaper
options from sources
that operate under lower
regulatory standards
and conditions. Our food
sector is very dynamic
and the pace of that will
have to accelerate even
more. There are three
sources of innovation
including the product
itself, the process and
the business model.
Seafood businesses
collaborating to gain
access to bigger
markets is an example of
innovative thinking."
"This is a complex subject involving climate change, biodiversity,
water quality, emissions. Improving elements of all of these are
involved in solving the challenges facing us. There are variations
within each region as to the impact of intensification on water quality,
for instance. What may work in one region may not be a suitable
response in another region. So there is not one easy solution to all of
these environmental issues. There are going to be combinations of
solutions to fit di erent circumstances. Any slippage in any area or
on any issue has the potential to damage our reputation. It is a matter
of self-interest, as well as doing the right thing for our environment.
"Forestry has a key role to play in terms of carbon sequestration.
The slow uptake of a orestation opportunities does need to be
"I am not sure that we
are all aware of what is
happening in the world in
relation to beef production
and consumption. It
is impossible for us to
meet our climate change
obligations if the world
does not stop eating
meat or at least cut
down on consumption
substantially. I believe that
our policy of increasing
meat production is
wrong because we are
producing for a market
that is going to disappear
very quickly. We need to
move Irish agriculture into
areas such as organics.
There is a huge market
in Germany, for instance,
for organic produce.
Irish agriculture is much
more suited to organic
agriculture compared to
our current production
model of feeding the
world on beef."
Aidan O'Driscoll
Secretary general, Department of
Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Laura Boyle
Director, Environmental Protection Agency
John Moloney
Chairman, Food Wise
Charles Stanley-Smith
An Taisce
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