Iofga Disappointed With The Closure Of Reps 4 And The Suspension Of The Grant Aid Scheme For The Development Of The Organic Sector
The Irish Organic Association (IOFGA) feels that the decision to close the REPS scheme and use modulated funds to support new agri environment measures shows a lack of understanding of the current agricultural climate . This announcement coupled with the decision announced on the 9th of July to suspend the Grant Aid scheme for the development of the organic sector may reduce the number of farmers who will convert to organic farming.
Kate Carmody Chairperson of IOA says that REPS 4 had been working very well with regard to the organic sector particularly in combination with the Grant Aid scheme and she hopes that the decision to close the scheme will not impact negatively on the organic sector. â€œMany farmers had been finishing up their current REPS plans and were waiting to join REPS 4 and convert to organic farming. We currently have many members who are finalising their applications for grant aid and IOA are very disappointed with the short notice given to announce that the scheme was closing. However we would like to point out that the Organic Farming Scheme is still open to people and overall we are hopeful that the stability within the organic sector given the current economic difficulties will still encourage people to convert to organic production and help the market realise its potential here in Ireland. This is particularly important if the government wants to achieve the 5% land target certified organic as set out in the programme for governmentâ€.
The Irish Organic Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,150 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 or organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits of organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.
For further information please contact:
Development Officer IOFGA
Tel 087 6125989