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Sector Background 

The Agri-Food and drink sectors account for 6% of Ireland’s economy-wide gross-value This will be achieved by greatly output, 12.3% of Ireland’s exports, and 8.6% of total employment. It boasts a gross annual output close to €26 billion and exports to >170 countries. At present, multinational food companies (many of whom are partners in VistaMilk) use Irish milk to supply 11% of the global infant milk formula market.

Industry Sectoral Challenge 

Globally, agriculture is undergoing seismic disruptions arising from the competing challenges of food security, the environment, and societal demands. The dairy sector is not exempt from this disruption as it faces a confluence of challenges: (a) the rapidly increasing global demand for dairy products, (b) the growing concern over the impact of agriculture on climate change and water quality, (c) the recent abolition of quota restrictions on milk production, and (d) the long-term volatility of global dairy markets.

Teagasc Solution 

The vision of the VistaMilk Centre is to be a world leader in the Agri-Food technology sector through innovation and enhanced sustainability across the dairy supply chain, positively impacting the environment, animal well-being and the health of improving the soil to society supply chain connectivity thereby improving resource efficiency, better meeting consumers’ expectations, and improving profitability and resilience. To achieve the vision for the centre, the resources, capabilities and expertise of the partners will be brought together, to create new innovation opportunities at the interface between Agri-Food and ICT. The opportunities that arise at the interface between Agri-Food and ICT will be the basis for the competitive advantage and international reputation of the centre.

Engagement Type 

VistaMilk is an SFI funded Research Centre led by Teagasc.

Impact for the companies 

Creating new products, opening new markets, unlocking new customer bases, facilitating new alliances.

Vista 1



“The challenges facing agriculture of; sustainable competitiveness in an increasing volatile international
market; the environmental footprint of modern-day ruminant production systems and; the growing issues surrounding anti-microbial resistance, can only be addressed through greater efficiency, precise breeding and effective management. The new reality is that the upstream and downstream implications of any changes in the entire food production change must be fully analysed and quantified. It is to this challenge, that the precision based technologies to be developed in VistaMilk whether hardware or software, are addressed by expert biological reasoning. This will be fundamental to achieving the global goals of food security with positive ramifications on both the environment and rural sustainability”

Gregory Sparks, Chairman of Vistamilk Governance Committee