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Minister McConalogue launches Food Systems Summit National Dialogues

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced details of a series of four National Dialogues on Ireland’s Food System. These are being held as part of Ireland’s engagement with the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, which his Department is leading jointly with the Department of Foreign Affairs.


The virtual Dialogues, hosted by the RDS, are designed to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders, from producers to consumers, to learn about their food system and contribute to its future sustainability. Each dialogue will feature a keynote speaker and a panel of stakeholders.


The Minister stated, “Ireland has been actively engaged in preparing for the UN Food Systems Summit and we will host a series of four National Food Systems Dialogues - to discuss the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of Ireland’s food system; as well as the contribution we can make to strengthening global food systems. The dialogues will be open to all and will focus on solutions – practical steps we can take to improve the sustainability resilience and inclusivity of our food system over the coming decade and  accelerate progress towards achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”


This first National Dialogue to be held on 21st April  will focus on Sustainable Food Systems and Ireland’s 2030 Agri-food Strategy, which will be published shortly in draft form as part of a public consultation on its environmental aspects. Further Dialogues will be held on 26thApril, 4th May, and 17th May and focusing on Health and Well Being of People and Society; Promoting an Inclusive Food System for the Future; and Aligning Domestic and Foreign Policy towards Sustainable Food Systems, respectively.


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D.,  said, The National Food Systems Dialogues are a unique opportunity for Irish stakeholders to have their voices heard. Their contributions will help to build better understandings of the challenges and opportunities at home if we are to improve the inclusivity and sustainability of our food systems. This allow Ireland to make a meaningful contribution to the global conversation on food systems, including at the UN Food Systems Summit later this year.”


Registration for all dialogues can be found here.


Notes for editor:

  • In 2021, the UN Secretary-General will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
  • A pre-Summit event, in Rome, July 19-21 will bring together the efforts and contributions of a global engagement process to shape ambition to transform food systems. The three-day event will bring together youth, smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples, researchers, private sector, policy leaders and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, and finance among others to deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approach from around the world, launch a set of new commitments through coalitions of action, and mobilize new financing and partnerships. 
  • The National Dialogues on Ireland’s Food System are part of Ireland’s engagement with the UN Food Systems Summit.  The Dialogues are designed to bring together a diversity of stakeholders, including voices that are seldom heard and provide all participants an opportunity to learn about their food system and contribute to its future sustainability.Food Systems Summit Dialogues are convened by national governments and individuals from across all of society. To date 67 United Nations Member State dialogues and 185 independent dialogues have been announced.
  • The Committee tasked with developing a new Agri-food Strategy to 2030 is nearing completion of its work. A draft Strategy is to be published shortly as part of a public consultation on its Strategic Environmental Assessment. This publication coincides with the National Dialogues and will be available to view online.