CHAS Students Take Home the Great Agri-food Debate trophy for the fourth time

For the fourth time UCD has claimed the Great Agri-food Debate title. The students from the College of Health and Agricultiral Sciences were declared overall winners at this year’s contest in Belfast on the 27th of February. 

The winning UCD team from UCD with Niall Browne, CEO, Dawn Meats, and Nina Prichard, head of sustainable and ethical sourcing, McDonald’s UK & Ireland

The two day contest was held in Northern Ireland for the first time this year. Six third-level colleges took part in the all-island competition: Queen’s University Belfast, who hosted the event, University of Limerick, UCD, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Dundalk Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology. The CHAS team were up against last year’s winners Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) over farmer subsidies. 

The motion for the final round of the competion was entitled 'Global free trade, not subsidies, will deliver a sustainable future for European agriculture'

Topics at the 5th annual Great Agri-Food Debate also included the environmental impact of veganism, free trade, subsidies and gender inequality in the agri-food industry.  

The team from UCD were captained by Una Sinnott and opposed the motion. The CHAS students argued for the merits of financially supporting farmers to produce food in an environmentally sustainable way.

The UCD team also cautioned of the impact of global free trade on the fabric of rural communities, proposing that farmers were the natural custodians of the land, a role they couldn’t fulfil without subsidies.

The winning UCD team for the 2020 Great Agri-Food Debate were:

  • Una Sinnott, Captain - Food & Agribusiness Management Student, Year 4
  • Owen Cashman - Animal and Crop Production Student, Year 4
  • Thomas Meade - Food & Agribusiness Management Student, Year 4
  • Simon Lanigan - Animal Science Student, Year 2.
  • Stephen Claxton - Animal Science Student, Year 2
  • Ciara Byers - Agricultural Science Student, Year 1.
  • Dathal Kent, Student observer & supporting member - Food & Agribusiness Management, Year 2
  • Roisin Scully, Student observer & supporting member - Agricultural Science, Year 1

Watch the final back here:

The College of Health and Agricultural Sciences is delighted to congratulate the winning team on their fantastic success!