Demand for organic oats is not being met by supply in this country.

James Flahavan – of Flahavan’s – attended the Irish Organic Associations’s recent farm walk on Donald Treacy’s farm in Co. Kildare.

The member of the oat’s dynasty described how demand is outstripping supply for organic oats at present and the company is always looking for more growers.

The poor weather this spring resulted in a decrease in the acreage of the crop planted.

“The overall planted acreage this year was back a bit due to the weather conditions. The majority of our organic oats are spring,” James explained.

The planted acreage is down, so our overall tonnage is down. Yields were better than we were expecting.

“We were expecting poor yields and quality over all. From a bushel weight point of view the crops are averaging around 52/53 KPH.”

The majority of the harvest was completed when James attended the walk and he stated that 1,700t of grain had been taken in.

“We’re back from last year and it’s still the case where demand is outstripping supply,” he added.

That demand is still there. We’re still looking for more organic growers and more organic oats.

“From our point of view it’s just about increasing supply for what we need.”

Many farmers are now waiting for the re-opening of the organic scheme and it is unlikely that the the tonnage of organic oats will increase significantly before the scheme is re-opened.

Flahavan’s is the number one organic oat brand in the UK

John Flahavan outlined the growth of the family business at the Goldcrop open day in June. He explained that the brand is now the number one organic oat brand in the UK.

Organic oats take up 25% of the company’s production and 15-20% of oat sales in Ireland.

John outlined that there was demand for more organic oat growers.

“The department hasn’t opened up the organic scheme. It won’t be open until 2020. There’s a possibility it will open it on a partial basis in 2019.”