Organics Council Report July 2022
Activity since last Council
Organic Farm Scheme
- This year applications are expected to result in an increase of up to 30% in the number of organic farmers in Ireland. The scheme last re-opened in April and was targeted at young farmers, horticulture and tillage farmers. There were 380 new applicants which equates to a 20% increase in application numbers to the Scheme in comparison to 2021. Approximately 700 new farmers joined the scheme over the past 12 months. The scheme is due to re-open again in October.
- A new Organic Forum was established earlier this year to further develop the organic sector in Ireland. John Curran, IFA’s Organic Project Team chair has a seat on the forum group which has met twice since the beginning of the year. The forum was established as a follow on from the Organic Strategy Group. The immediate focus of the Organic Forum will be on the continued implementation of the National Organic Strategy 2025 and any related actions and supports necessary to remove the barriers to the growth of the sector
- An Organics project team meeting was held on the 20th of April in the County Arms Hotel Birr. Members attended a Teagasc Organic Farm Walk on Ross and Amy Jackson’s farm before the meeting.
- IFA attended an Organic Copa Cogeca meeting in Brussels on the 12th of May.
- The balancing payment of the 2021 Organic Farm Scheme commenced on the 9th of June.
- The Organic Farm Scheme will re-open again in October. DAFM have put together a page detailing all information to apply on the following link https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/fc7c8-organic-farming/
- A higher payment proposal for the new 2023 CAP was submitted by the IFA in relation to organic farming to help make it both more sustainable and attractive to farmers. The rates proposed were €520/ha for a farmer in the conversion period and €470/ha for a full organic farmer. IFA continue to lobby for this.
- As it stands, Farmers applying for the scheme under the new CAP in 2023 will see an increased payment on current rates by roughly €30/ha and the land area eligible for organic payment will be increased from 60ha to 70ha. With the organic scheme expected to reopen this year, farmers who convert to organic before 2023 will be paid the €220/ha conversion rate, but will be entitled to the increased rate from 2023, as will existing organic farmers.
- IFA will continue to liaise with DAFM on supports available to organic farmers. A meeting has been requested and will take place in the coming weeks.
- IFA representatives will attend Biofach later this month in Nuremberg. Biofach is a showcase of organic produce across Europe and offers the opportunity to meet European counterparts.
- IFA continues to engage with retailers on spiralling input costs and setting up meetings with retailer buyers at this critical period.
- The project team will continue to liaise with Bord Bia to identify new markets and promote Irish organic produce.