Food strategy vital, warn green groups


A NUMBER of environmental and wildlife groups have called on Minister for Agriculture and Marine Simon Coveney to ensure the Government’s food strategy has an adequate strategic environmental assessment.

The Environmental Pillar is also seeking a longer public consultation period for the Food Harvest 2020 Strategy, and says Mr Coveney’s department did not publicise it adequately. The Department of Food said the consultation deadline was extended from June 28th to July 6th.

However, the Environmental Pillar says real public consultation would require a minimum of four weeks, and says it is required under an EU directive.

The grouping has appealed to Mr Coveney to intervene “in the light of the very recent Irish ratification of the Aarhus Convention” on public consultation and participation. The pillar involves over two dozen groupings, ranging from An Taisce to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to the Irish Seed Savers Association.

The Friends of the Irish Environment has also enlisted the support of 12 other groups in an appeal to Mr Coveney to ensure that aquaculture is included in the public consultation.