IOA are delighted with the announcement by Minister Trevor Sargent that the Organic Farming Scheme is to be reinstated from January 1st 2010.
According to IOA Chairperson Kate Carmody it is great news for the sector and gives further weight to the importance of the development of the sector in Irish agriculture. According to new research from Bord Bia, the value of organic sales in Ireland increased by 13 per cent in the year to July. In the first seven months of this year sales reached €124 million compared to €104 million over the same period last year – a 16 per cent rise. The research also showed that 73 per cent of Irish grocery shoppers purchased an organic product in the last month, with fruit, vegetables and dairy products accounting for the most popular purchased categories.
In light of this research it is vital that the government put resources into the development of the organic sector to ensure that more high quality Irish organic products are available for consumers. The reinstatement of the Organic Farming Scheme is essential to the development of the sector and we would encourage people interested in organic farming to apply to the scheme.
Minister Sargent indicated that the Scheme conditions will be amended to incorporate
completion of an approved training course, as an essential pre-requisite to joining the
scheme. He indicated that this would be a requirement solely for new applicants who have not previously participated in the Organic Farming supplementary measure of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme. He emphasised that the cost of this course would have to be self-financed by the applicant as evidence of his/her commitment to the Organic Sector.
“The submission of a detailed five year business plan by all new applicants, will also be required as part of the application process. This will facilitate an assessment of the
level of farming activity and sustainability of the business ” stated Minister Sargent.
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 of 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:
Tel 087 6125989
Tel 086 8239582