At the IOA Annual Conference on Sunday, Christopher Stopes from ECOS Consultancy gave a passionate, informative view on the current state of agriculture in the EU and how CAP Reform should be addressed. “The most interesting and important result of the CAP Reform to date has been that the public consultation and communication showed that people want agriculture to deliver on public goods, people want good quality food produced in a manner which does not compromise the environment. Organic farming is a multi-functionary system which delivers just that, and research shows that organic farming can produce enough food to feed the world as long as we all take our fair share”.
Following the macro to the micro John Liston from the Irish Milk Producers Group illustrated the potential opportunities in the organic sector in Ireland. John detailed how 20 organic dairy farmers have come together with the aim of securing the supply chain and having a greater input into marketing their own high quality products. “The future is bright for dynamic organic farmers who want to deliver quality goods to consumers, by working collectively we have shown that it is possible for farmers to not only produce high quality goods but to ensure that we have control over how that product reaches the consumer which is very important”.
Dr. Tracey Larkin from LIT, was enthusiastic about research conducted on Irish organic milk which will further support research coming from the UK on the nutritional benefits of organic milk. She illustrated the extensive resources that LIT have available to carry out a range of research on the properties of organic food which is good news for all in the organic sector and for consumers of organic food.
The IOA AGM took place in the afternoon and two new directors were elected onto the Board. Desmond Thorpe is an organic farmer and grower from Wexford and Sean Clancy, Clanwood Farm is a beef farmer from Offaly. Both of the new directors host open days during the summer as part of the Teagasc Demonstration Organic Farm programme.
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1. Christopher Stopes is a consultant who has 25 years experience working the organic sector in the UK. He works on CAP Reform as part of the IFOAM group and he currently serving as the EU IFOAM President. He can be contacted on
2. John Liston is an organic farmer from Croom in Limerick who has been certified organic since 2006. His main enterprises are dairy and beef production. He is one of the founding members of the Irish Organic Milk Producers and John is responsible for research and development for the producer group. John can be contacted at jliston@O2.ie
3. Dr Larkin is lecturing at the Limerick Institute of Technology and is involved in research with Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre. Dr Larkin’s research now focuses on analysis of antioxidants/bio-actives in foods and has an IRCSET funded project to investigate organic fruits and vegetables. Dr Larkin is also involved in sensory evaluation and shelf life studies for a variety of food types/products with regional food producers. Dr Larkin can be contacted at email@example.com