Queen's-AFBI Alliance hosts stakeholder event
Leading stakeholders from the worlds of agriculture, sustainability and food systems met at Queen’s University Belfast at a stakeholder evening hosted by the Queen's-AFBI Alliance.
The Alliance has a key goal of supporting Northern Ireland’s agriculture, environment and food systems with research targeted to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
The event provided an opportunity for leading players in the NI agrifood industry and knowledge-base to discuss how best to respond to the growing environmental and climate crisis, with a key focus on partnership working.
Speaking at the event, Professor Stuart Elborn, PVC for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Queen's University, said: “The journey towards a transformed food system will require a transformative partnership approach to be adopted between the knowledge base of the Universities, AFBI and CAFRE, DAERA the UFU and other government departments as well as the private sector and many other agencies and organisations throughout society.”
Dr Elizabeth Magowan from AFBI added: “By working together we have the ability to leverage resources, skills and funding to create a uniquely superior food system in Northern Ireland which has global reach and impact and most importantly of all is sustainable.”
Sir Peter Kendall, who has just finished a six-month strategic review of food and farming in NI, provided a keynote address followed by structured discussions throughout the evening. Mrs Tracey Teague from DAERA and Dr Clive Black from the Industry Advisory Board at IGFS, Queen's, also provided insights.
DAERA Minister Edwin Poots closed the event by saying: "It is very clear to me that we are facing a generational challenge to change the way we produce food and how we think about food, so we do so in an economic and environmentally sustainable way, and create a sustainable agri-food sector and a healthy society while protecting natural resources for future generations.
"This is Green Growth and I am leading on this for the NI Executive. Success in Green Growth will hinge on scientists, industry, society and government all working in partnership together, to identify and then implement the optimal way forward. I commend the QUB/AFBI Alliance for initiating the debate on how we can achieve this."