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Minister Sargent examines the Organic Sector in Austria

Mr. Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Food and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is visiting a number of organic farms in Austria this weekend. The purpose of the visit is to gather information on how organic production in the country has developed to its current high level, i.e. 11% of total land area.

"Given that only 0.8% of Irish agricultural land is certified as organic, we have some serious catching up to do" said Minister Sargent

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to increase the land area under organic production in Ireland to a minimum of 5% by 2012.

"Ireland's level of production is low by EU standards, but I am confident that by learning from the experiences of countries like Austria and using this valuable information in the development of the organic sector in Ireland, we can put together the requires strategy and resources to ensure we reach our 5% target" Minister Sargent said.

12 October, 2007

Date Released: 12 October 2007