‘Well-resourced farming scheme key for Irish organic expansion’

The Organic Trust has welcomed the Organic Farming Action Plan 2013 – 2015, which was launched yesterday by Minister of State Tom Hayes TD on the Organic Trust certified farm of Alan Jackson in Birr, Co Offaly.

Helen Scully, national co-ordinator for Organic Trust, said: “There is massive potential for expansion within the Irish organic sector and with some key commitments from Government and a defined focus for the sector as a whole. This Organic Farming Action Plan can help realise this potential going forward.

“The principal tools at our disposal to drive the expansion of the sector will be a well-resourced Organic Farming Scheme and a commitment from Government on the specific inclusion of organic products in Ireland’s green public procurement policies.  This plan provides some focus to stakeholders on both these issues.”

The Organic Farming Action 2013-2015 focuses on actions specific to each sector to facilitate development to their potential as recognised by the Food Harvest 2020 report. The overall strategy is to ensure profitable organic systems which will help maintain existing levels of participation in the organic sector and attract new entrants. The four main objectives of this plan are to:

• Increase the production base in Ireland, with a view to substituting imports for a wide range of organic produce with Irish-produced organic produce wherever possible.

• To promote awareness of the huge potential in export markets for Irish-produced organic produce and products

• Seek to develop sustainable export markets for Irish organic produce as supplies become available

• To identify issues which are impeding the growth of the organic sector with an emphasis on developing solutions

Pictured: Gavin Lynch, public relations and development officer with Organic Trust, Alan Jackson, organic farmer, Tom Hayes, TD, Minister for Horticulture, Forestry, Food Safety and the Greyhound Industry, Mel O’ Rourke – chairman of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Organic Focus group.  

Click here for the report  Organic Farming Action Plan 2013-2015.