29 MARCH 2018
ICSA Organics committee chair Fergal Byrne has called for efforts to expand the market for organic beef and lamb to be redoubled following the inaugural meeting of the new Organic Sector Strategy Group. Following the meeting Mr Byrne said, “The focus now has to be on finding additional markets for organic produce. To this end, we need to see more collaboration between the meat industry and Bord Bia. This must be a priority if we are serious about the organics sector maximising its potential and becoming more than just a niche sector.”
“We know that demand for organic produce is growing all over Europe, but even still, organic producers here struggle to find markets for what they currently produce. This is despite the organic meat sector in Ireland being very small compared to other EU countries. Leakage of organic stock, i.e. organic stock that has to be sold as regular stock due to lack of markets, remains an issue.”
“ICSA will also be pushing for funding of the Organics Scheme to continue post 2020. It is high time for the Organics Scheme to be revisited and ICSA will be lobbying for that but there is no point in putting more people in without more markets.”
Kildare farmer Fergal Byrne was recently elected to the position of chair of ICSA’s newly formed Organics Committee.
“I look forward to my continued work as part of the Organic Sector Strategy Group and with the ICSA Organics committee as well as with organic farmers from right around the country. Together we can put organic farming at the centre of future farm policy.”