A new action plan to steer organic farming in Ireland in the coming years has been launched by Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Fodd and the Marine, Tom Hayes TD.
The local deputy spoke of the work put in to drawing up the plan and set out some of the goals of the plan, at the launch.
Speaking at the launch of the Organic Farming Action Plan 2013-2015, Minister Tom Hayes TD, first paid tribute to the work carried out by his predecessor, the late Minister of State Shane McEntee who, he said, “was the driving force behind the establishment of this Action Plan.”
The Minister went on to say this is a plan for the future: “This Action Plan will be central to assisting our efforts to develop the Organic Sector to its full potential as recognised by the Food Harvest 2020 Report”.
The Action Plan is an ambitious work and it has four main objectives: to increase the production base in Ireland, with a view to replacing where possible imports with Irish organic produce; to promote awareness of the potential export market; to seek to develop sustainable export markets for Irish organic produce as supplies become available and to identify issues which are impeding the growth of the Organic Sector with an emphasis on developing solutions.
“The target of 5% of land area under organic production, set out in the Food Harvest 2020 Report, is indeed a challenging target that we must together strive to achieve,” the minister said, acknowledging the challenges involved.
“The Action Plan I am launching today is a very important element in this process and one that I hope all stakeholders will embrace”, Minister Hayes concluded.
Pictured at the launch of the Organic Farming Action Plan (above) were Minister of State Tom Hayes with Mel O’Rourke, the Chairperson of Organic Focus, at the farm of Mr. Alan Jackson at Lacka House, Riverstown, Birr.