What does a sustainable food system look like for Ireland?


On Savour Sunday the Sustainable Hub will host a series of talks, discussions and panels on what farming can do to support biodiversity and climate action. Presented by critics, farmers and activists and curated by Sadhbh O’Neill, researcher, lecturer, and advocate with 30 years’ experience in the fields of climate and environmental policy.

10am–11am Setting the scene: Irish agriculture’s impacts on climate and biodiversity – John Gibbons
11am–12pm  Farming for natureJohn McHugh Farming for nature & Oonagh Duggan, BirdWatch Ireland.
12pm–1pm Supporting farmers – what needs to change? Eoghan Daltun author of an Irish Atlantic Rainforest and ambassador for Farming for Nature.
2pm–3pm Connecting farmers and consumers – Daniel Long, ex MACRA dairy farmer and entrepreneur, Cocoreado ambassador for Ireland & Vincent Grace Riversfield Organic Farm Co. Kilkenny. 
3pm–4pm Panel discussionJohn Gibbons climate advocate and Kilkenny native, Catherine Cleary food critic and founder of Pocket Forests, Tadhg Buckley Chief Economist IFA and Dr John Allman of the Plant Based Doctors Association 
4pm-5pm Novel approaches to growing – a look at hydroponics – Ciara Allen of Bowfield Farm Co. Laois and Karen Hennessy of Real Leaf Farm Co. Offaly

Sunday’s programme begins with John Gibbons, a commentator on climate and environmental issues, whose talk on the impact of agricultural systems nationally and globally on ecology and emissions will help set the scene for the day. The following sessions will look at what farming can do to support biodiversity and climate action. We’ll look at how farmers can engage directly with consumers to shorten supply chains and ensure a better dividend for their work. We’ll hear about the policy and cultural changes that are needed to support farmers make these changes, and also how consumers can better support farmers that are innovating for climate and biodiversity action. We’ll hear some inspirational examples of what individual farmers are doing to tackle these challenges. There will be an afternoon panel discussion looking at the future of Irish agriculture, with speakers pulling threads from the discussions throughout the day. Closing the day, we’ll have presentations from two growers using eco-friendly hydroponics as part of their farm enterprises.

Open to everyone, talks are free to attend and will be seated on a first come first served basis. This series promises to be food for thought!