Food Vision 2030 recognized the value of the Irish Horticulture Sector as the 4th largest agriculture sector in Ireland and called for a strategy to set out a road map for the industry to 2030, focusing on economic, environmental, and social sustainability.
With a turnover in 2021 of €521 million and directly employing over 6,600 people while occupying less than 1% of total land, horticulture contains a diverse range of sectors, such as mushrooms, potatoes, field vegetables, protected fruit, protected vegetables, outdoor fruit, and amenity crops such as nursery stock, protected crops including bedding plants, cut foliage, outdoor foliage and bulbs, Christmas trees and turf grass.
From carbon sequestration to enhancing biodiversity such as pollinators, horticultural systems offer many synergies and co-benefits between environmental, economic, and social sustainability. However, the scale required, high start-up costs, labor shortages, and retail pressures pose challenges for the sector, but with a significant trade deficit and changing consumer trends, there are opportunities for import substitution and innovation.
KPMG’s July report, Opportunities for the Irish Horticulture Sector, was commissioned by the Department to identify the key cross-cutting factors applicable to the overall sector and each sub-sector’s challenges and opportunities and articulate the actions that could address these. The report drew on industry data and consultations across the sector, both in Ireland and overseas.
Through the completion of an online questionnaire, this public consultation is designed to expand engagement outside the sector and help inform the development of a new National Strategy by prioritizing the identified actions to support the horticulture sector to grow and realize its full potential.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is inviting submissions from all interested stakeholders on the prioritization of actions in KPMG’s report and any other matter considered necessary to grow the sector to 2030. Such submissions will help inform the development of a National Horticulture Strategy for implementation until 2030.
Find the consultation at www.gov.ie.