National organic conference under way

The National Organic Conference kicks off today in Tullamore, Co Offaly. The event is organised by the National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) and will focus on addressing the needs of the market.

The event takes place over the next two days in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore. It will discuss many relevant topics for the sector including common agriculture policy and it’s the future implications for organic farming, organic production census, organic market perspectives and opportunities, national and international and how France increased their organic market share – a supply perspective among more.

The NOTS say the conference also features a number of trade stands which will allow the audience the opportunity to engage with stakeholders in the industry on a one to one basis

Speaking at the opening, Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine acknowledged the work carried out by the NOTS, Teagasc and Bord Bia and their commitment to the development of the organic sector in Ireland.

Minister Hayes highlighted the opportunities that exist for Irish Organic produce both at home and abroad. Referring to the National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement he stated: “This action plan commits the public sector to play an exemplary sustainability role through it procurement activities.” Minister Hayes acknowledged however that “as many catering contracts have been in place prior to the issue of the plan the potential benefits of this action plan have not yet been realised. I would expect that significant opportunities will arise for organic producers in the very near future as the contracts come up for renewal”.

Minister Hayes concluded: “I am convinced that with all the stakeholders of the industry working together, there is a bright future for Organics in Ireland”.