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Hayes Opens Horticulture Producer Organisation Conference

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Horticulture Tom Hayes T.D, today opened the Fruit and Vegetables Producer Organisation Conference organised by his Department. 

Minister Hayes stated that “Planning of production and concentration of supply were objectives of the Scheme which could assist producers in responding to the power of the multiples”.

The Minister highlighted the fact this is an EU funded Scheme and that the purpose of the EU Regulation is primarily to encourage and support producers to work together.

Minister Hayes added, “Technological advances have transformed Irish horticulture over the past decade and I believe there is significant potential for further development within the sector if the correct structures are put in place”.

The Minister of State outlined the background to the Conference.  He highlighted that the promotion of grower participation in the development of Producer Organisations had been a recommendation in Food Harvest 2020 and that this had been endorsed by the High Level Implementation Group. He further noted that the recently established Horticultural Forum had discussed the issue of the Producer Organisation Scheme and he therefore felt that it was timely to organise a conference to inform fruit and vegetable growers about the scheme.

Emphasising the need for horticulture growers to consider becoming involved in a Producer Organisation Minister Hayes added, “To see the benefits arising from grower co-operation, one only has to look at the success of Ireland’s mushroom industry where approximately 50 Irish growers have come together to collectively market their produce both in Ireland and particularly on the UK market.  This co-operation allows the growers to collectively purchase inputs thereby achieving economies of scale. More importantly, it creates a concentration of supply that allows many of the smaller producers to sell into export markets which they could not access otherwise.”

The Minister of State took the opportunity to welcome the continued support for the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector in 2015.   He advised growers that full details and application forms for the 2015 Scheme will be available shortly.

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 153/2014 (pdf 542Kb) 

Date Released: 16 October 2014