Ireland’s leading organic farming event was held in early November in the idyllic countryside of Adare, Co. Limerick. For the sixth consecutive year, BIOFARM was hosted by the National Organic Training Network (NOTS) and brought together national and international stakeholders from the primary sector, agribusiness and tourism, as well as policy makers and the media, to discuss and raise awareness of the growing role of organic and regenerative agriculture in Ireland.
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Pippa Hackett, attended to show her support for the mainstreaming of more sustainable and resilient agriculture, and stressed the importance of sharing knowledge and practical guidance from pioneers and innovators in the sector who, from a holistic perspective, work in harmony with nature while maintaining the economic viability of their businesses.
It also featured successful examples of organic farming, such as Dan Kittredge, founder of the U.S. Bionutrient Food Association, highlighting the relationship between biodiversity and soil fertility, since there can be no profitable yields without a healthy microbial and fungal ecosystem beneath our feet.
Other highlights of the conference were the importance of strengthening the relationship between producer and consumer, as conversion to organic farming is not enough if there is not a market ready to buy higher quality produce at a fair price. To make this happen, a dedicated supply system is needed. Denmark was put as an example, with the organic produce becoming a major share of the national food market.
Finally, the conference concluded by emphasising the value of farming communities telling their own story, as this is key to inspire others to join the movement towards a sustainable way of producing food in the future.
For more information about BIOFARM, please visit their website.