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Minister Doyle Attends Organic Sector Strategy Group Meeting

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., today attended the inaugural meeting of the new Organic Sector Strategy Group in Agriculture House.

The Group comprises of representatives of the Department, Teagasc, Bord Bia, BIM, IFA, ICMSA, ICSA and a wide range of stakeholders including the Organic Meat, Dairy, Horticulture, Cereals and Aquaculture Sectors.

Speaking today, Minister Doyle said “the market for Irish organic produce continues to grow each year and is currently valued at €162 million. If you add other activities such as farmers’ markets and on-line sales, the estimated value is over €200 million. While there are challenges, there is definitely scope for further growth given the market demand. The principal objective of this Group will be to develop a strategy to ensure that the Organic Sector avails of the opportunities that exist and maximises its contribution to economic growth and exports in an environmentally sustainable manner over the coming years.”

Acknowledging the commitment and resolve of stakeholders to further develop the Sector to its full potential, Minister Doyle paid tribute to the work of the previous Organic Focus Group and the progress made. Paying tribute to the outgoing Chairman of Organic Focus, the Minister said “During a challenging time for the Sector, I commend Mr Mel O’Rourke for his commitment and contribution to the development of the Organic Sector over the past six years.”

Minister Doyle has appointed Mr Martin Heraghty, a former Assistant Secretary of the Department to chair the new Group.  With regard to the appointment, the Minister stated “I believe Martin who has a wealth of agri-food sector and EU experience, is an excellent choice for Chairman. I want to thank the members of the Organic Sector Strategy Group for taking on this challenge and to thank Martin for agreeing to chair it.”

The new Group is tasked with developing a strategy for the development of the Organic Sector for the period up to 2025. It is expected the draft Organic Sector strategy will be presented to the Minister within six to eight months.

Note for Editor

The composition of the Group is as follows:

Martin Heraghty, Chair

Karen Tyner, Senior Manager, Bord Bia

Dan Clavin, Teagasc Organic Specialist Advisor

Donal Maguire, Aquaculture Development Division, BIM

Catherine Morrison, Project Development Manager, BIM

Gillian Westbrook, General Manager, IOFGA

Colin Keogh, Quality Assurance Manager & Senior Inspector, Organic Trust

Vincent Cleary, Managing Director of Glenisk

John Flahavan, Chairman of E Flahavan & Sons

Niamh Jinks, Marketing Executive, Aurivo

John Purcell, Managing Director of Good Herdsmen

Joe Hyland, Managing Director of Irish Country Meats

Padraig Fahey, Beechlawn Organic Farm

Denis Drennan, Chairperson of ICMSA Farm & Rural Affairs Committee

Fergal Byrne, Chairperson of ICSA Organics Committee

Richie Flynn, IFA

John Curren, IFA

Secretariat: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The Terms of Reference of the Organic Sector Strategy Group will be:

  1. To review the implementation of the 2013-2015 Action Plan, and in particular identify what worked well and what did not.
  2. To assess the case for a targeted reopening of the Organic Farming Scheme, looking to best economic and environmental outcomes.
  3. To draft a new 5-7 year Strategic plan for the development of the Organic Sector, including sectoral and cross sectoral recommendations, market developments, training and education, public awareness and wider EU policy.

Added 28.03.2018

“Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., today attended the inaugural meeting of the new Organic Sector Strategy Group in Agriculture House. The Group comprises of representatives of the Department, Teagasc, Bord Bia, BIM, IFA, ICMSA, ICSA and a wide range of stakeholders including the Organic Meat, Dairy, Horticulture, Cereals and Aquaculture Sectors.”

ENDS

Date Released: 28 March 2018