In the recent review of the Programme for Government negotiations were made with regard to financial commitments to the organic sector in the coming months.
The relevant part of the new Programme for Government reads as follows:
Ensure the achievement of the target of 5% of land in organic agriculture and meet the growing demand for domestically produced organic produce by providing adequate resources and supports for the achievement of the target, with a focus on import substitution in areas where Ireland is under producing at present e.g. horticulture. Beginning in 2010, and rising in subsequent years, stepping up supports for the Organic Farming Scheme for conversion to organic production, Capital Grants for the Organic Sector and Non-Capital costs.
IOA welcomes this commitment to the organic sector and sees it as essential if the sector is to expand and fully develop its potential.
IOA also welcomes the commitment to establishing Ireland as a GM Free Island which was also announced in the Programme for Government. The government has also made commitments to introducing a voluntary code for food producers. This is important so that consumers can make informed choices about the food that they purchase.