New Rules to Ensure 10% of Purchased Food is Organic

Apr 18, 2024 | Climate Change, Farm Viability, Green Architecture, Innovation

The Irish organic sector has received a significant boost following Government approval of the Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan. The plan requires that a minimum of 10% of food purchased via public procurement must now be certified organic. A key innovation in the new Strategy dictates that a minimum level of seasonal products must be included in public sector food procurement. This is will ensure that the 10% target applies across a large range of organic products rather than being met through supplies of only one or two food categories.

Minister Pippa Hackett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), welcomed this development by saying, “We have a target under the Climate Action Plan of 10% of agricultural land in Ireland to be farmed organically by 2030. One of the ways we can support even more farmers to make the switch to organic is for the State to become a purchaser of organic food, and we know that public procurement has worked really well in other EU member states as a policy lever to grow the organic sector. I look forward to seeing the results of this policy change here in Ireland over the coming years, alongside Bord Bia’s organics promotional campaigns and increased presence at international organic trade events.

Green Public Procurement is viewed as an important policy mechanism to achieving environmental objectives. Large purchasing power gives the public sector significant influence to stimulate the creation and provision of more resource-efficient, less polluting goods, services and works within the marketplace.

The Irish public sector has recognised its responsibility to promote green public procurement, and to support Ireland’s environmental and wider sustainable development objectives.

The Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan replaces the previous national Green Public Procurement policy ‘Green Tenders’, which was more than a decade old. During this period, green public procurement commitments have become embedded in key areas of Government policy including Ireland’s first Whole-of-Government Circular Economy Strategy, the Climate Action Plan, and the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy. The Programme for Government – ‘Our Shared Future’ – includes commitments relating to green public procurement.

To learn more about innovations in organic food production, click here.

Information on the Organic Farming Scheme can be found here.

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