The Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) paid a visit to a farm in Wicklow during his tour of Ireland.
Director General Dr QU Dongyu was in Ireland for talks about the issue of global food security.
Director General QU spent time at a dairy farm in Tinahely where he met farmer Joe Hayden.
The Wicklow farmer explained his family’s farming tradition and commitment to best practice in sustainable food production.
Mr Hayden and his brother Michael are known for supplying milk to Baileys through Glanbia for the last 30 years.
They have a dairy herd of around 175 cattle on the 135ha farm and continue their family’s tradition of farming.
Director General QU also met with Agriculture Minister Michael McConalogue during his trip to Ireland and other senior Government figures.
Following the meeting, Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to welcome Director General QU to Ireland and to have the opportunity to speak with him on global food security, especially in the context of ongoing conflict, including in Ukraine.
"We also shared with him our experiences in developing our ten-year agri-food strategy, Food Vision 2030. Food Vision 2030 focusses on ‘Sustainable Food Systems' and recognises the international dimension of food and agriculture policy.
“We have a strong relationship with FAO and look forward to continuing to support food systems transformation to achieve a world without hunger by 2030."
Director General QU Dongyu said: “Food is a basic human right. We must learn from the history lessons of Ireland and the country’s leading role in ensuring food security at global level.”
Dr QU also paid a courtesy call to the President Michael D Higgins during his time in Ireland.
He presented President Higgins with a copy of his poem ‘Take Care’, which Dr Qu had translated into Chinese.
Separately, Kilmacanogue resident and gardener Diarmuid Gavin has also been announced as the FAO national Good Will Ambassador for Ireland.
The celebrity garden designer, broadcaster and writer was recently appointed to the new role at the opening session of the 11th World Potato Congress in Dublin.
“By using his talent, vision and influence, Diarmuid has supported FAO’s work in raising awareness on how protecting plant health protects the environment, and contributes to end hunger and malnutrition,” Dr Qu said,.
“He has been strongly committed to supporting FAO in highlighting the critical need to transform our agrifood systems, and how this can be achieved,” he added.
“This is a great honour,” said Mr Gavin, “I very much look forward to representing the great work of FAO as a Goodwill Ambassador during these challenging times.”
As Goodwill Ambassador, the garden designer will help FAO promote plant health and publicise the importance of promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and combatting climate change through more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable practices that can begin in peoples’ gardens or window boxes.
Mr Gavin previously served as a FAO champion of plant health during the International Year of Plant Health in 2020.