The food industry in the Republic of Ireland is supported and regulated by a number of Government Departments and state agencies.
The Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food is the primary government department, but others such as the Department of Health and the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation have specific functions in relation to the industry. Many important functions are delegated to agencies which operate under mandates established by the Dáil. Their independence from the central structures of government allows them to function more effectively in the commercial and technical spheres. Marketing food, food research, supporting food enterprises, food safety and the education of farmers are all tasks delegated to state agencies.
Departmentof Agriculture, Food and the Marine: The Department promotes the development of the agricultural, seafisheries, food and horticultural industries. Its main activities include the operation and implementation of EU schemes and regulations, the provision ofgrants for farm improvements, the operation of measures to improve livestock and horticultural production, the control and elimination of animal disease, ensuring quality control in marketing and processing, and the formulation and operation of land policy.
Teagasc is the national research, training and advisory service for farming in the Republic of Ireland. Its 180 scientists undertake research in methods of growing and producing food; in the economics of agriculture and into the environment and rural development. Teagasc offers formal education for young farmers and an expert advisory service for working farmers. Teagasc’s annual portfolio comprises of some 300 research projects, conducted by 500 scientific and technical staff in their research centres throughout Ireland.
This is the main agency concerned with indigenous industrial development. They are also responsible for inward investment in food. Certain aspects of food production, particularly those concerned with equipment and startup financing are its special concern.
The VistaMilk SFI Research Centrerepresents a unique collaboration between Agri-Food and information communications technology (ICT) research institutes and leading Irish/multinational food and ICT companies. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM).VistaMilk aims to positively impact the environment, animal well-being and the health of consumers, and lead the Agri-Food technology sector through innovation and enhanced sustainability across the dairy supply chain. Internationally, the advances developed in the centre will apply to dairy systems in many countries and will be a catalyst for global growth in the agritech sector.This will be achieved by greatly improving the soil to gut supply chain connectivity, there by improving resource efficiency, better meeting consumers’ expectations and improving profitability and resilience.