Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Pippa Hackett announced today (Tuesday, May 17) that the next tranche of the Organic Processing Investment Grant Scheme is currently open and will close on July 31, 2022.

The scheme aims to develop the organic sector to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality organic produce to the market.

The scheme provides funding to processors who wish to invest in developing facilities for the processing, preparation, grading, packing and storage of organic products, with the aim to provide them with an opportunity to further enhance income.

Announcing the opening of this tranche, Minister Hackett stated: “We have seen 380 new applicants to the Organic Farming Scheme [OFS] in 2022 which is almost a 20% increase in application numbers to the scheme in comparison to 2021.

“Altogether this means just under 700 new farmers joining the scheme in the last 12 months.

“As the demand for organic produce continues to increase each year, I am steadfast in my commitment to the development of the Irish organic industry by providing the necessary supports to producers and processors to meet market demands.”

The junior minister added that the Organic Processing Investment Grant Scheme provides essential financial assistance in the processing of organic products, increasing the supply of quality Irish organic products to both domestic and international markets.

Funding of €1.2 million has been allocated to the scheme. Applicants can apply for grant aid for off-farm investments up to €700,000 on eligible expenditure.

Applications may be received by post or email by July 31, 2022.

Criteria for organic grant application

The scheme is open to organic operators who:

  • Are licensed organic operators registered with an approved organic certification body;
  • Are currently registered with the DAFM;
  • Own or have leasehold title to the site on which it is proposed to carry out the development;
  • Agree to provide relevant bank / building society / credit union details to ensure that all payments are paid by electronic fund transfer;
  • Provide a copy of a Business Plan.