The National Ploughing Championships Machinery & Livestock Exhibition which begins today in County Laois, Ireland, is the largest outdoor event in Europe. Covering over 800 acres, it draws over 1,700 exhibitors and over 300,000 visitors during its 3 days.
This reflects the importance of the food and agricultural sector to the economic and social fabric of Ireland and Ireland’s contribution to the global food and agricultural industry. Although always the case, recent events globally have demonstrated to us again that agriculture and food production is the most vital and important matter and is in essence essential to the development of societies around the world.
In recent years, the global trends in agricultural policy have often prioritised yield and profit over health, sustainability, and sociocultural features of rural communities. This has meant that the poor struggle to even feed themselves, and climate change makes farming increasingly unpredictable. These and other factors threaten food security.
Irish agriculture and food have never embraced that trend and whilst the need for productivity is imperative, our farmers, the guardians of our countryside have sought to find the balance between economic and environmental sustainability. This isn’t easy. For example, last year’s Climate Action & Low Carbon Development Bill has raised concerns within Irish agriculture about achieving this balance and the future of Irish sustainable agriculture both economically and environmentally.
History has long shown the ingenuity of Irish agriculture, in developing systems and techniques that fitted available resources, or indeed the lack of them, making Ireland a major agricultural producer, and overcoming environmental and social obstacles to ensure the survival of millions of people. Those who worked the land had always protected it and had a close affinity with improving their farming outputs, from new ideas in development of implements, crop varieties and breeds of livestock. While from a modern perspective, these may appear to be primitive and very small scale, history is showing that this way of agriculture was impressive for its refinement and effectiveness and is indeed emerging as a viable means of the future.
This follows through to the same spirit of innovation within Irish agriculture today, which is evident all over the Ploughing exhibition, from established international brands such as Kerry, McHale and Glanbia to the new innovators within the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena. Global companies and Irish companies represented, are at the forefront of effective and sustainable food production, innovative solutions towards environmental sustainability and achieving efficient and financially viable ways to address this global challenge.
The value of Agricultural Output at basic prices grew by 28% to €12.9bn in 2022
Source – Central Statistics Office
OCO Global is proud to support Irish and global agricultural companies, who are involved in providing sustainable agricultural and food solutions through sustainable and responsible international trade strategies. We work with leading international companies in the USA, EU, UK and across the globe to assist in achieving their international growth ambitions. We do this by moving them beyond a culture of contest to a competitiveness borne of collaboration, co-operation, and connectivity. The destination tells us that agricultural activities and food production are at the heart of our social fabric – a core activity that is immersed in our economy, community-building, and social action.
To find out how we can help your agricultural business, get in touch.