Twelve innovative local and national organic projects are set to receive funding of approximately €1.1 million.
A call for projects to promote organic production in Ireland, in line with the European Organic Action Plan was made in early 2023. This call was the first of its kind for the organic sector and it encouraged innovative proposals. It was made in order to support the Programme for Government target of 336,000 hectares (10% of all land) farmed organically by 2030.
It has now been announced by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett that twelve proposals have been selected and will receive funding of approximately €1.1 million.
Minister Hackett has commended the quality of the applications and the diversity of their proposals. The projects selected ranged from exploring the potential for organic Irish butter, to living mulches to advisory support for organic farmers, as well as much more.
The successful applicants were:
• ACA Tipperary; support and expand the ability of private agricultural advisors to provide relevant advice to organic farmers
• National Organic Training Skillnet; Organic & Biological Living Lab Programme to bring together farmers and researchers to facilitate research and co-ordinate knowledge sharing
• National Organic Training Skillnet; the creation of a substantive library of instructional videos covering all aspects of conversion to organic farming
• National Organic Training Skillnet; the purchase of trial equipment to be used in practical organic training programmes for small-scale dairy production.
• Irish Organic Association; a campaign to showcase all relevant sectors including, beef, sheep, dairy, cereals and pulses, horticulture, poultry/eggs and aquaculture
• Irish Organic Milk Producers Ltd Waterford; a pilot project to investigate the use of Organic Milk to make both Organic Butter and Organic Skimmed Milk Powder.
• Organic Growers of Ireland; delivery of the Organic growers internship and Future growers conference each year alongside the development of the member network that offers farm walks, focus sessions and networking opportunities to organic growers throughout Ireland
• Dr. Jack Fahey; a study that aims to investigate the potential benefits of employing living mulches in organic tillage practices.
• Irish Organic Milk Suppliers Co-Op Society Ltd; this project will develop a business plan examining the possibilities for a newly formed, farmer owned organic dairy co-op in Ireland.
• Limerick Community Grocery CLG aka The Urban Co-Op; market research on school-based procurement options with creation of relatable visual promotional materials and a range of ready to eat organic meals to test the market.
• Irish Agroforestry Forum; ‘Organic Farming with Trees’ educational programme for farmers and schools with instructional materials and videos. The project also offers a “Farm Fresh to School Organic Vegetables” schools pilot programme, highlighting organic produce
• Organic Trust; organize, promote and run a National Organic Food Fair.
For more information about the selected projects, visit the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine website here.