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Minister of State McEntee highlights opportunities for Organic Sector at Organic Conference

Speaking at the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA) conference at the Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Co. Westmeath, Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine highlighted the developments which should enhance and promote the further development of the Organic Sector in Ireland.

The Minister highlighted the fact that "The potential of the Organic Sector is outlined in both ‘Pathways for Growth - Review & Outlook' and 'Food Harvest 2020' which points out the importance of building and marketing Ireland's green image. Food Harvest advocates that environmental sustainability should be verifiable to internationally recognised standards and provide enhanced marketing opportunities. Given that organic production is already certified to international standards it is well placed to deliver in this regard and to enhance Ireland's green image generally".

Minister McEntee noted that the CAP post 2013 proposals are also very positive in relation to the Organic Sector, in particular the greening provision which will support smart, green growth in Irish agriculture.  He pointed out that proposals presented by the European Commission encompass provisions for innovative actions promoting a resource-efficient, productive and low-emission agricultural sector. "We must therefore continue to promote organic farming, which is compatible with the protection and improvement of the environment and animal welfare" said the Minister.

The National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement due to be published in the near future was also highlighted by Minister McEntee as a welcome development. "This Action Plan will place due emphasis on local sourcing and sustainability which are both positives from an organic perspective" the Minister stated.

Note for Editors

Under the EU Regulations governing the organic sector, Organic Control Bodies act on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in certifying and inspecting organic producers and processors. IOFGA is one of five Organic Control Bodies accredited to EN45011 standard in accordance with the governing EU Regulation and approved by the Department to operate in Ireland.  

Date Released: 18 November 2011