The recent paper on climate change published by the EU was described as "a major win for Ireland" by Tom Moran, general secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
"For the first time the EU recognises that the challenge of feeding a growing world population cannot be ignored when setting targets on climate change," Mr Moran told last week's conference of agri-business leaders in Dublin.
"The spectre of risk is much, much bigger in agriculture and food than any other sector," he added.
Meanwhile, Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter predicted that dairy exports would become increasingly important as the decade progresses.
"Dairy was 37pc of our food exports last year but it's easy to see how that could increase to 50pc of the total by 2020, at which point dairy will dominate," Mr Cotter said.
"China has become our second most important market for dairy exports and sixth for food in general, but we shouldn't forget about Britain, where the population is expected to grow by 10m by 2037, or double that of Ireland," he pointed out.