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Minister Smith Highlights National Organic Week at Organic Seminar in Cavan

Speaking at the Organic Production and Marketing Seminar in Cavan, organised by Cavan Partnership Company Ltd, Cavan County Council and Teagasc, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, was positive about the future for the organic sector in Ireland.

The Minister said that "the Seminar was timely in the context of the Programme for Government commitment to increase the land area under organic production to 5% of total agricultural area by the year 2012". The Organic Farming Action Plan was drawn up by his Department in consultation with all of the organic interests and launched by Minister Sargent last April.

The Minister was particularly pleased that the Seminar was being held during National Organic Week, which runs from 15th to 21st September 2008. The Minister said that National Organic Week, now in its 4th year, was going from strength to strength and congratulated Bord Bia for its efforts in this regard.

The Minister acknowledged that the organic sector in Ireland was still small in relation to agriculture as a whole, but had experienced significant growth in recent years. "At retail level the Irish organic market is estimated currently worth €104 million, compared to €66 million in 2006", Minister Smith concluded.

Date Released: 17 September 2008