- 03 October 2012
This week Bord Bia are promoting all things organic for National Organic Week. Organic food producers are an obvious fit with the “Origin Green” concept launched by Bord Bia in June to promote Ireland as a nation of sustainable food producers. As the negotiations surrounding the reform of the CAP set to intensify for the autumn, the organic sector is watching with a keen eye. “For the first time there is real political recognition of the contribution made by organic farmers to deliver on public spending by supplying the market with high quality goods produced in a sustainable manner” said Gillian Westbrook, General Manager, IOFGA. “Business as usual is not an option for the farming community. Greening of the CAP is essential to ensure that farmers who receive direct payments are meeting pre-determined environmental conditions and also meeting their legal and environmental obligations under cross compliance. Organic farmers are already doing this quite easily which makes it attractive for farmers considering converting to organics” she continued.
IOFGA are also calling on governments to make organic farming a mandatory option under rural development programmes, and co-financing of such schemes should be up to 80% EU funded. “Organic farmers are fulfilling sustainability criteria and therefore meeting taxpayers expectations who are funding the CAP. Therefore we feel that it is important that in this austere period more funding should be made available under CAP to allow the sector to develop and meet its full potential in Ireland” Ms. Westbrook stated.