The Department of Agriculture Food and Marine today announced its plans to re-open the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) on 9th February 2022. The scheme is part of the government efforts to have at least 7.5% of Irish farmland under organic production as set out in the Programme for Government. It seeks to capitalise on the growing demand for organic food both in Ireland and other European countries. Farmers and growers who are interested in conversion can sign up with the Irish Organic Association before applying to the scheme up until Friday 8th April.
Gillian Westbrook, Irish Organic Association CEO, said “The Irish Organic Association welcomes the Department’s plans to re-open the organic farming scheme as a means of incentivising and supporting farmers interested in converting to organic farming. This also sends a clear message to food business of the potential green growth opportunities through increased supply of home-grown organic produce as Irish and EU demand continues to increase year-on-year.”
She added, “Organic market trends both in Ireland and the EU clearly speak for themselves, with Bord Bia reporting sustained growth between 2015 and 2020, which is projected to continue. However, for Irish organic farmers and food business to take advantage of these trends, the Irish Organic Association wants to see a clear and concerted effort between the government, the organic sector, Teagasc, Bord Bia and the Irish food industry to win those markets and develop organic value chains both at home and abroad, backed by a strong package of measures under the CAP Strategic Plan due in 2023.”
For further comment please contact Gillian Westbrook, CEO of the Irish Organic Association at 087 -7819967, or by email at email@example.com
Farmers interested in conversion can contact the Irish Organic Association on 090 643 3680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk through the process with a member of our friendly team, who will send you an information pack. As well as certification the Irish Organic Association also provides several services to its member including support during the conversion period through our Field Talk Programme and the provision of technical information and regular updates on the latest organic developments in Ireland and Europe. Further details are available through our website.
The Organic Farming Scheme is operated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, and provides financial support to farmers to encourage the production of organic foods and is planned to open on Wednesday 9th February 2022. Applicants must be registered with an approved organic certification body such as the Irish Organic Association before applying. Further information on the 2022 Organic Farming Scheme, terms and conditions, can be found here.
2021 reporting from Bord Bia estimated that the Irish organic market was valued at approximately €235m in 2020, with an annual growth rate of about 9% between 2015 and 2020. Bord Bia commissioned research also shows that these positive trends are expected to continue over the next five years. According to the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ireland’s four main export destinations namely; UK, Germany, France and Italy represented over two-thirds of the EU organic food retail sales in 2019.