The Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (IOFGA) reports that sales of organic food continue to grow strongly in Ireland despite the recession. Feedback from members of IOA that sales have continued to grow this year have been supported by the latest survey figures released by Bord Bia. These compared sales of organic food in shops and supermarkets for the 12 week period to the end of January 2009 with those for the same period to the end of January 2008. This indicates that sales have grown in value terms by 11% year on year. This compares with 2.7% growth for non organic food. The fact that people who purchase organic food are committed to the organic option was confirmed by the results of a survey that indicated that two thirds of those who purchase organic food said that their purchases would stay at the same level or grow this year despite the downturn..
The experience of organic farmer Jimmy Mulhall who is based in Co Laois near Carlow town backs up these figures. He produces organic pork, lamb and beef on Coolanowle Organic Farm. He sells his produce at seven markets in Contarf, Ranelagh, Leopardstown, Skerries, Carlow, Kilkenny and Portlaoise and also at www.organicmeat.ie. He reports that after a slight dip in November sales are up since Christmas and his sales are growing ahead of the rate reported by Bord Bia. He puts this down to people purchasing top quality organic meat as they substitute dining in for eating out in restaurants as they watch their budgets more closely. The Mulhalls also use their home produced meat to supply visitors to their guesthouse and self catering accommodation for which they won the Best breakfast in Ireland Award in 2008 from Good Food Ireland.
Kate Carmody Chairperson of IOA stated,â€™ Organic food sales continue to grow as people look for quality produce even when money is tight. It confirms that the organic message of support for the highest standards of animal welfare, pesticides free farming, supporting biodiversity and sustainable farming is increasingly important to Irish consumers even in difficult economic times. It also points to opportunities for conventional farmers to explore the organic option. The success of organic farmers like Jimmy Mulhall illustrates the potential which exists for finding new ways of selling produce direct to the consumer cutting out he middleman.â€™
Note to editors
The Irish Organic Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,000 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard or organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits or organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland. Further information on IOA is available on www.iofga.org. IOA publishes six times a year its popular magazine Organic Matters. Articles from back issues of the magazine may be found at www.irishorganic.ie
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For further information contact:
Kate Carmody tel 086 8239582
Jimmy Mulhall www.coolanowle.com 0872738061
Issued by John Oâ€™Neill Tel 087 612 5989 or firstname.lastname@example.org