Irish Organic Association announce establishment of Formal Link With The Soil Association – The UKâ€™s Largest Organic Organisation
In a practical example of thinking globally and acting locally, the Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (IOFGA) has established a co-operative link with the Soil Association, the largest organic certification body in the UK. This means that the largest certification bodies in Ireland and the UK have agreed to work together for the benefit of their members whilst both retaining their autonomy. The agreement will allow IOA and its members to draw on the extensive research and development programme of the Soil Association as well as their expertise in the provision of information on organics, certification, marketing and the promotion of organic food. This is of growing importance given the increasing complexity of EU regulations governing the organic sector and it will be especially relevant when dealing with the complex requirements of the food processing and manufacturing industry.
Kate Carmody chairperson of IOA commented that, â€˜We are delighted to announce our agreement with the Soil Association to work together for the mutual benefit of our members. We have enjoyed a close working relationship with them for many years. The larger size of the organic sector in the UK means that the Soil Association has the resources to carry out research and they have also developed a wide range of materials and information for their members. As part of our agreement with the Soil Association, we will be able to draw on this material for the benefit of Irish organic farmers and growers. This will give us the opportunity to support the development of organics in Ireland by tapping into this fantastic resource. Both organisations will retain their autonomy under the agreement whilst working together in areas of mutual interest.â€™
Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association, said ‘We are absolutely delighted to have formalised our relationship with the IOFGA, which we think will be incredibly beneficial for both our organisations. We believe that promoting the importance of organic production is crucial, especially in this time of economic volatility, and that working with partner organisations who share our vision and aims can only amplify the message about sustainable farming and food systems.
The Soil Association is pleased to support the work of IOA which has been doing a first class job for many years and is well able to provide the full range of services to organic producers, processors and retailers including Inspection, Certification and the provision of general support. We will be happy to add value to the work of IFOGA through sharing research and training as appropriate.’
The Irish Organic Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,000 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard of organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits or organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.
The Soil Association is the UKâ€™s leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming. It has its headquarters in Bristol and employs a total of 180 staff. It was founded in 1946 by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists who observed a direct connection between farming practice and plant, animal, human and environmental health. It is the largest certifier of farmers in the UK and the largest certifier of processors and manufacturers also with over 58,000 separate products bearing its logo.
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For further information contact: Kate Carmody Chairperosn IOA tel 086 8239582
Issued by: John Oâ€™Neill Development Manager IOA Tel 087 612 5989
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