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How radical collaboration is transforming food systems in Ireland

Earlier this year, the Irish government announced ambitious plans to reduce emissions from agriculture by 25% by 2030. In partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, a significant collaborative effort has been initiated to achieve this goal.

Dublin Conference: Toward Sustainable Food Systems

In a recent conference in Dublin, key stakeholders from government, academia, and the private sector convened to emphasise the collective effort required for sustainable food systems. Minister of State Martin Heydon highlighted the collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC in alignment with the Food Vision 2030 strategy.

Over the past year, EIT Climate-KIC conducted a comprehensive mapping of the Irish agri-food system. This effort aimed to break down silos and foster collaboration among decision-makers, investors, and innovators.

EU Efforts and Global Commitments

The collaborative approach in Ireland resonates with EU initiatives, such as the establishment of Regional Innovation Valleys for Bioeconomy and Food Systems. 

You don’t change things without taking risks. Institutions like the European Commission or the Department of Agriculture in Ireland or even universities – we’re in a risk-averse culture. But if we’re going to get to where we need, we need to try and fail, we need to listen and learn… and we need to move things forward.

John Bell, Director for Healthy Planet at the European Commission

Ground-Level Innovation: Freshgraze's Disruptive Approach

Thomas Drumm, a veteran farmer and co-founder of Freshgraze, highlighted the imperative for disruptive thinking in the farming community. Freshgraze introduces innovative pasture management practices, contributing to more sustainable farming.

Next Phase: Seeking Funding and Implementing Partners

As the Deep Demonstration in Ireland advances, EIT Climate-KIC is actively seeking funders and implementing partners for a portfolio of over 200 projects. Bill Callanan, Chief Inspector at DAFM, emphasised the role of the Deep Demonstration in creating a supportive framework for private investment.

Challenges and Future Prospects

The challenge now lies in supporting farming communities to integrate these innovations into traditional practices. EIT Climate-KIC's presence at COP28 in Dubai from 30 November to 6 December will showcase its support for leaders in bridging the gap between climate goals and current reality. 

EIT Climate-KIC at COP28