The EU today (March 25th) launched their Organic Action Plan which includes a range of targets and strategies to assist in achieving the Farm to Fork ambition to have 25% of organic land certified organic by 2030. To download the Organic Action Plan CLICK HERE
The Irish Organic Association are hosting two Information Webinars on how to apply to the Organic Farming Scheme. The events take place on Wednesday March 31st and Wednesday April 7th beginning at 7.30pm. The main focus of the webinars is assisting farmers with filling out the required paperwork and includes questions and answer session for any technical questions on organic farming.
Booking is essential and you can email email@example.com, or text Organic followed by your name and email address to 51444. Alternatively call the IOA office on 090 6433680 to book your place. A email with the link to the webinars will be provided to people who book in.
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine have just announced that the Organic Farming Scheme will open to new entrants in the first week of March 2021. Full details of the scheme will be announced when the scheme opens on March 1st.
Announcing the opening of the Scheme, Minister Hackett said, “I am delighted to be in a position to support the growing number of farmers in Ireland who want to farm organically. Organic farming embraces nature and natural processes to produce organic food, for which there is a growing demand both in Ireland and across Europe. And the reopening of this scheme, with the extra funding and scope for so many more farmers to join, demonstrates my Department’s commitment to helping farmers cater for that demand.”
Referring further to the extra numbers who will be catered for, the Minister added, “We expect 400-500 new farmers to be able to join the scheme. That represents a significant added investment organic farming which we can make because of the additional €4million we secured in this year’s budget. It will also help us meet the targets set out in the Programme for Government to align Ireland’s organic land area with that of the current EU average over the lifetime of this Government.”
Priority will be given to those in sectors where there continues to be growing demand;
In addition priority will be given to young farmers entering the Organic Farming Scheme.
Below is a document that outlines the current situation for organic operators with regard to trading with the UK. Please note that this is relevant for processors and also farmers and growers purchasing organic materials from the UK.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D, has confirmed that the LEADER Food Initiative, which provides funding support for new and existing artisan, micro and small food producers, will continue next year during the CAP transition period.
Minister McConalogue stated, “I am pleased that this important programme will continue next year, and that there will be an increase in the maximum rate of aid from 50% to 75% in line with changes to LEADER generally. This decision ensures that continued funding will be available to assist small food producers to develop new food offerings, new routes to sell their produce, and to support the rural economy at this critical time.”
The €15 million LEADER Food Initiative, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Rural Development Programme, will continue to support new and existing food and beverage producers in areas such as (1) market development, (2) competitiveness, and (3) innovation. A new call for applications will be launched in 2021, following on from an initial €5m call in 2018, for which approvals have been issued. The maximum amount of funding permitted is €200,000 per project.