IOA welcomes the decision announced by the department today to uphold payments to organic farmers. Earlier this year it emerged that the department decided to withdraw payments to organic farmers who were in the AEOS and the Organic Farming Scheme for specific designated land areas. This decision affected 148 organic farmers, who were then given the right to appeal the decision. The department has now agreed to honour the full term of its contracts only with farmers who appealed the decision.
Gillian Westbrook, General Manager, IOFGA, stated that “It is regrettable that only farmers who appealed the decision will now receive payments that they are all entitled to. This has been a lengthy process and one which has led to farmers leaving the organic sector due to the prohibitive restrictions imposed after they had signed their contracts with the department”. She continued “it is particularly unfortunate for those who have now left the scheme especially as the current CAP negotiations are looking attractive for organic farmers”.