By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Cuffe addresses National Organic Conference during National Organic Week

Addressing the Teagasc National Organic Conference today, the Minister for Sustainable Transport, Horticulture and Planning, Ciarán Cuffe TD, urged farmers to seize of the opportunities that exist in the organic sector and to recognise the real potential of organic farming to provide them with a sustainable income and a promising future. The Conference was held in the County Arms Hotel, Birr, to mark National Organic Week.

"There is plenty of scope for Irish producers of organic vegetables, fruit and cereals to replace imports with what they grow themselves. Our main processors tell us that they cannot even meet the existing demand, particularly for beef, from countries like Germany with a €5.85 billion organic market and the United Kingdom with a st£1.85 billion organic market", Minister Cuffe said.

The Minister went on to point out the important role that organic farming has to play in meeting the ever-increasing challenges of depleting oil supplies, climate change and the provision of a sustainable supply of food. "In the longer term as organic production is less dependent on fossil fuel imports it is quite likely that it will become ever more cost competitive and as a result I believe that both certified organic production and organic production methods will become increasingly the norm", said the Minister.

Within the Food Harvest 2020 report which maps out policy for the next ten years, "The most compelling picture is one of opportunity", said the Minister. "The report highlights the opportunity for the Irish Agri-Food industry to grow and prosper sustainably through the delivery of high quality, safe and naturally based produce. The Irish Organic Sector is a forerunner in this regard and is therefore in a prime position to achieve further growth in the years ahead".

Minister Cuffe paid tribute to Teagasc for organising the Conference and its commitment to the development of the sector in Ireland. "Teagasc is rightly held in the highest regard by Irish farmers. They will inevitably be influenced and encouraged by the fact that Teagasc, by its actions, shows that it regards organic farming as part of mainstream Irish agriculture".

Date Released: 16 September 2010