Friends of the Irish Environment Submission On Food Harvest 2020

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Submission to the Department of Agriculture

Publication cover - Friends of the Irish Environment Submission On Food Harvest 2020 4.07.12
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14 of Ireland's environmental non-governmental organisations have come together to call on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to ensure the ambitious targets for Food Harvest 2020 are formally assessed under EU Directives before they are adopted.

Food Harvest 2020 is the agri-industry's blueprint for development. It envisages that milk and pig-meat production will increase by 50 per cent, beef and sheep output by 20 per cent, poultry production by 10 per cent and fish farming production by 78 per cent.

The environmental groups point out that the authors of Food Harvest 2020 themselves recommended that these proposals should be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment [SEA] but that the Minister had refused this recommendation. Instead, he is proposing an ad hoc 'environmental analysis of various scenarios'.

This also runs counter to 2011 legislation implemented by Ireland under the Habitats Directive which specifically requires a formal assessment process for any activity, plan or project that may affect a protected European Natura 2000 Site - 14% of Ireland's surface. This legislation includes the process of adoption by a public authority of land use plans or projects.

The Minister, who is Chairing the High Level Implementation Committee for Food Harvest 2020, is legally required to go through a formal process which will ensure that this plan, individually or in combination with other plans or projects, will not have 'a significant effect on, or adversely affect the integrity of, any site protected under European Law.'

Full press release here