Organic implementation group holds inaugural meeting

The inaugural meeting of the new Organic Strategy Implementation Group took place today, and was attended by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle.

The purpose of this group is to drive the implementation of the new Organic Sector Strategy 2019 – 2025 and the 27 overarching cross-sectoral actions.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Doyle said: “Implementation of the actions identified within this strategy are a priority and critical to the further development of the organic sector in Ireland.

“In this strategy we have delivered an ambitious blueprint for the Irish organic food sector and its implementation must be a key priority for all if this ambition is to be realised.”

Similar in structure to the Food Wise 2025 Implementation Group, the new body has a core implementation group comprising of representatives of the relevant state agencies and organic control bodies.

The group contains representatives from: the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc; Bord Bia; Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM); and the organic control bodies.

It is chaired by Martin Heraghty who also chaired the Organic Strategy Group.

Other members include: Karen Tyner, senior manager, Bord Bia; Dan Clavin, Teagasc organic specialist advisor; Catherine Morrison, project development manager, BIM; Gillian Westbrook, general manager, Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association; and Colin Keogh, quality assurance manager, Organic Trust.

From an operational perspective, according to the Department of Agriculture, this new implementation group will mirror the Food Wise 2025 implementation process by inviting representatives from other organisations to meetings so that all interested bodies have an opportunity to input.

Acknowledging the commitment and resolve of stakeholders to further develop the sector to its full potential, Minister Doyle paid tribute to the work of the Organic Strategy Group which resulted in the publication of the Organic Food Sector Strategy.

The Organic Strategy Implementation Group is due to meet bi-annually and will report periodically to the Food Wise 2025 High Level Implementation Group.