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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett today announced the reopening of the Organic Farming Scheme for new applications from farmers. The reopening, is expected to result in an increase of up to 30% in the number of farmers farming organically in Ireland this year.
The Scheme will be open to applications from all sectors from today (1st March) and it will remain open until the 30th April 2021. The Organic Farming Scheme is an agri-environment measure under the Department’s Rural Development Programme. Farmers entering the scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status. Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers.
Encouraging farmers to apply for the Scheme, the Minister added, “I believe that the significant level of funding provided for this new Scheme will facilitate the entry of 400-500 new farmers into the organic farming system. This should allow scope for plenty of successful applications from all types of enterprises and I would encourage farmers in all sectors to consider applying.”
The Minister continued, “The scheme and funding are closely aligned to the targets in the National Organic Farming Strategy to 2025 and will help us deliver on them. In the event of the scheme being oversubscribed, I will be prioritising those sectors for which most market demand exists, namely the dairy, horticulture and tillage sectors, but I also want to encourage young farmers to convert to organic farming so I will be making provision in the selection process to achieve this too. I have also ensured that farmers who were not successful in gaining entry to the previous scheme, but who have continued to farm organically, have their commitment acknowledged, through priority access.”
Applications for the scheme must be made online through the Department’s online system agfood.ie. The Minister concluded, “The application process itself is quite simple and straightforward. There is a wealth of information and guidance available to farmers through my Deportment, Teagasc and the organic certification bodies. Farmers of course should also speak directly with their own advisor if considering joining the scheme. I would encourage every farmer to inform themselves of the opportunities here and to give it fill consideration.”
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.