Organic farmers appalled at DAFM decisions on payments

Organic farmers appalled at DAFM decisions on payments

Organic farmers who signed up for the AEOS and the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) are appalled to hear the Department’s decision to backtrack on the terms and conditions originally agreed by both parties. The areas of concern are parcels of land which have been designated as Species Rich Grassland, Traditional Hay Meadow and Riparian Margins. Organic farmers who are receiving payments for these areas under AEOS will not receive the area payment under the OFS for the above declared areas.

“This is an extremely distressing situation for farmers who made the agreement with the Department in good faith” stated Gillian Westbrook, General Manager with IOFGA. “Now they find themselves forced to make a decision as to which scheme they wish to receive payment under. If they opt to receive payment under the AEOS, they will not receive payment from the OFS but must continue to farm the parcels of land in question organically. Alternatively, they could choose OFS payment and not the AEOS, either way the Department has given them a very short window in which to make this decision. Many of our members who find themselves in this situation have stated to us that they will appeal the decision as this should have been made clear to them before they signed up for either scheme” stated Ms Westbrook.

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For further details contact:

Gillian Westbrook

IOA General Manager, 090-64-33680, 087-781-9967

Grace Maher

IOA Development Officer, 087-612-5989