South Tipperary junior minister Tom Hayes recently paid tribute to his predecessor, the late Sean McEntee, at the launch of the Organic Farming Action Plan 2013 - 2015.
Minister Hayes, at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, acknowledged the work carried out by Mr McEntee whi he said was ‘the driving force behind the establishment of the action plan’.
The plan has four objectives: to increase the production base in Ireland, with a view to replacing where possible imports with Irish organic produce; promote awareness of the potential export market; 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.
“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,” said Minister Hayes.
“The target of 5% of land area under organic production set out in the Food Harvest 2020 Report is a challenging target that we must together strive to achieve. The Action Plan is a very important element in this process and one that I hope all stakeholders will embrace,” he added.