Nuffield International GFP travellers in Ireland 2024

Image: Our international GFP travellers on 2002 Nuffield Ireland Scholar John Fagan’s farm in Westmeath in early April – undeterred by the (very) wet conditions.

Ireland hosts Nuffield International Scholars for Glocal Focus Programmes

Ireland is hosting two week-long visits by international Scholars on their Global Focus Programme travels this year.

The first group arrived on 7th April, and included Scholars from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Brazil, the US and Ireland.

They started in Belfast for a two day programme hosted by Nuffield Northern Ireland Executive and Scholar Jason Rankin. As well as meeting with scientists and experts from AFBI, Scholars visited Fane Valley co-operative. They also visited Nuffield Scholar Campbell Tweed’s farm, and met John Gilliland to discuss carbon and sustainability. They then visited Stormont to learn a little about Northern Ireland’s political system, and were hosted there by Tom Elliot, MLA and chair of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, for a networking dinner with local food industry leaders.

Then onto Donegal to visit 2020 Nuffield Ireland Scholar Gareth Lamberton’s farm and take part in a dairy discussion group meeting. Still in Donegal, the team visited Valerie and Des Moore’s Bells Isle Seafood oyster farm at Tullyearl – an opportunity to discover a food business completely out of their realm of knowledge and sample some delicious oysters!

Kepak’s Athleague beef and lamb slaughter and processing plant was next on the programme, and General Manager Darragh McHugh gave a very comprehensive overview of the business, taking the crew for a visit, including the kill floor, which all found to show impressive commitment to openness and transparency for a company in this sector.

After that, they walked and talked their way up a mountain in wet weather for a better view of 2002 Nuffield Ireland Scholar John Fagan’s beef and sheep farm in Westmeath, and the land which he plans to convert to a solar farm. The evening ended with dinner at Nuffield Ireland chairperson’s Joe and Mairead Leonard’s home in Co. Meath.

Friday was Dublin based, accompanied by Executive Director Catherine Lascurettes, meeting with the Department of Agriculture for an overview of Irish agricultural production, Irish and EU farm policy, and climate change plans. This was followed by a meeting with the Bord Bia’s Sustainability Team to discuss Origin Green, the Grass Fed Standard and AgNav, and how those initiative can give greater confidence to Ireland’s customers as to the genuinely provable sustainability of our food exports.

We look forward to our next bunch of GFP visitors in July, who will be travelling into Dublin, and towards the South of the country, to meet with policy decision makers, food industry stakeholders, farmers, including Nuffield Scholars to discover the opportunities and challenges of Irish agrifood.

Image: Nuffield International Scholar GFP group at Stormont, Belfast. 

Nuffield International Scholar GFP group

Image: Nuffield International Scholar GFP group at Bord Bia’s HQ in Dublin