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To bridge the gap between commitments and reality, the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine has partnered with EIT Climate-KIC – Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative – to work with public and private stakeholders in the Irish land and agri-food system to help accelerate its pathways to climate neutrality.

Ireland’s strategy is to achieve a climate-neutral food system by 2050, with a commitment to reduce emissions from agriculture by 25% by 2030. The Irish Climate Action Plan 2023 and the Food Vision 2030 Strategy have set out ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gases (such as methane and ammonia), balance remaining emissions through carbon sequestration (for example through carbon farming and increased forests), and improve biodiversity, air and water quality. 

EIT Climate-KIC is applying its ‘Deep Demonstration’ model of innovation to the entire agri-food and bio-based value chain, from soil to farm to fork to society. This involves working with stakeholders from both public and private sectors, including finance and education, as well as civil society, to develop and deploy coordinated innovation actions that work – in practice and at scale – and to obtain insights and lessons about a range (‘portfolio’) of solutions. 

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Shaping sustainable food systems in Ireland

  
Ireland's 2030 impact goals
25% reduction in agricultural emissions (=5.75 Mt CO2eq)
10% of farmed area prioritised for biodiversity
8,000 hectares of new forests per year
50% reduction in food waste per person
Impact areas

7 flagship areas of innovation

After mapping the Irish land and agri-food system to identify key actors, issues, initiatives and opportunities, we have identified seven high-potential innovation areas underpinned by 280 on-the-ground projects. We will be implementing four of these seven frameworks between 2024 and 2025.

Flagship 1

Vision 2050: re-imagine Ireland’s land and agri-food system

ACTIVE
Flagship 2

Grow the sector through innovation and investment in new value chains

Flagship 3

Implement circular bio-economy models at regional or multiple value chains level

ACTIVE
Flagship 4

Diversify incomes through carbon farming and nature credit frameworks

ACTIVE
Flagship 5

Produce and certify climate-neutral beef

Flagship 6

Accelerate emission reduction and sustainability in dairy farms

ACTIVE
Flagship 7

Grow and diversify the tillage sector

The Deep Demonstration explores innovations across the entire Irish agri-food value chain, helping the sector accelerate climate action and develop greater resilience.
Resources
Online event Voices from the field: an Irish perspective on capacities needed to transition to net-zero

Join our webinar on 15 May and find out more about skills and capability needs for sustainable farming practices, drawing on our insights from Ireland.

Voices from the field: an Irish perspective on capacities needed to transition to net-zero
Map Ireland's land and agri-food system map

The map shows the key relationships, existing initiatives, and potential ‘levers of change’ for effective innovation interventions in the Irish land and agri-food system. Make sure to download it for optimal navigation.

Ireland's land and agri-food system map
Report Dealing with climate change and sustainability targets: The innovation potential for the Irish agri-food sector

Ireland can draw on a wide array of innovative solutions from circular and bioeconomy practices, carbon farming, alternative proteins, and nature-based solutions to achieve the goal of a sustainable food system. This report provides an overview of solutions that can be considered as a part of the portfolio development, during which innovation actions — including both policies and projects — are co-designed with public, private and civil society stakeholder actors.

Dealing with climate change and sustainability targets: The innovation potential for the Irish agri-food sector
Find out more All resources

Find here all resources related to the Ireland Deep Demonstration project, including further reports, workshop summaries, and Consultative Group meetings.

All resources
We are placing farmers and families at the centre of the transition, to demonstrate what healthy, just and regenerative societies can look like.
Stories from the Ireland Deep Demonstration

Ireland wants to embrace change, to mitigate its agricultural footprint, and to adapt to the effects that climate change is already having on its oldest and largest domestic sector. 

The stories you can read in this section capture the difficulties encountered by Irish farmers, fishers and forest owners, as well as their determination to meet these challenges head-on. But they also tell of the underlying hope in a beautiful, just and more sustainable future for the next generations.

The Ireland Deep Demonstration project has uncovered a powerful red thread, in each conversation with the people we have met: the desire to find solutions that work, and the will to put them into practice.

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How radical collaboration is transforming food systems in Ireland

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How radical collaboration is transforming food systems in Ireland
How Ireland can lead the way in food systems innovation

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How Ireland can lead the way in food systems innovation
In Ireland, farmers are at the heart of the agri-food transition

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In Ireland, farmers are at the heart of the agri-food transition
Climate Change with Scott Amyx: Interview with Andy Kerr, Chief Strategy Officer at EIT Climate-KIC

Listen to the podcast
Climate Change with Scott Amyx: Interview with Andy Kerr, Chief Strategy Officer at EIT Climate-KIC
Get in touch

Meet the team

Saskia-Visser

Saskia Visser

Ireland Deep Demonstration programme lead Saskia Visser
Stewart

Stewart Gee

Carbon Farming, Dairy, Beef & Tillage lead Stewart Gee
Denyse

Denyse Julien

Future Vision, New Value Chains & Circular Bioeconomy lead Denyse Julien
Luke

Luke Baker

Funding and Financing lead Luke Baker
Marlene

Marlene Zanier

Insights lead Marlene Zanier
Tessa

Tessa Finch

Learning & Capability lead Tessa Finch
Climate KIC 2023 Event Fennell Photography 2023

Aida Khalilova

Communications manager Aida Khalilova

Partner

Consultative Group Members
Aldi Ireland
  
Bank of Ireland
  
BioAtlantis
  
Bord Bia
  
Coillte
  
Dawn Meats
  
Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Marine
  
Dept. of Enterprise, Trade & Employment
  
Dept. of the Environment, Climate & Communications
  
Dept. of Taoiseach
  
Dept. of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science
  
Enterprise Ireland
  
Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland
  
EY
  
IBEC
  
Ireland Strategic Investment Fund
  
Irish Farmers' Association
  
Irish Grain Growers
  
National Economic and Social Council
  
Ornua
  
Science Foundation Ireland
  
Teagasc
  
University College Cork
  
University College Dublin
  
Implementation partners
Bioregional Weaving Labs Waterford
  
Circle Economy
  
Commonland
  
Creative Futures Academy
  
Environmental Defense Fund Europe
  
Irish Co-operative Organisation Society
  
IKC3
  
Inform-Bio
  
Metabolic
  
MJB Consulting