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Minister Sargent names members of New Organic Group, Forás Orgánach

Trevor Sargent TD, Minister for Food and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today named the members of Forás Orgánach, a new body which he has established to drive forward the development of the organic sector in Ireland.  Minister Sargent made the announcement at the Organic Demonstration Walk held at the farm of Jenny and Peter Young at Castlefarm, Athy, Co Kildare.

Forás Orgánach replaces the National Steering Group for the Organic Sector, which recently completed its second three-year term.  However, the new group has a different emphasis.  Whereas the National Steering Group brought nominees from various stakeholder groups together to agree a programme of action, Forás Orgánach is made up of individuals with expertise in particular areas who can bring their talents and specialist knowledge to our efforts to develop the organic sector further.

"The National Steering Group was an excellent forum for the various stakeholders to share their perspectives on the organic sector, and their biggest achievement was to produce the Organic Farming Action Plan 2008-12 which I described when I launched it as the single most important initiative in driving the organic sector forward in Ireland.  It is vital that we do not lose momentum as we work towards the target that was set for the organic sector in the Programme for Government.  The members of Forás Orgánach have been selected for what they, as individuals, can bring to this task.  I am expecting a lot from them but I have every confidence that, under the leadership of Noel Groome, they will deliver it", said the Minister.

Note for Editors

The members of Forás Orgánach are as follows:

Noel Groome (Cathaoirleach) is Managing Director of Groomes Fresh Produce Ltd.

Stiofán Nutty is Special Adviser to Minister Sargent.

Pat Barry is a Specialist Organic Adviser with Teagasc.

Lorcan Bourke is Development & Marketing Executive in Horticulture with Bord Bia.

Jim Carew is an Agricultural Inspector in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Vincent Cleary is Managing Director of Glenisk Ltd.

Liam Fahey is a Senior Inspector in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Padraig Fahey is an organic farmer with particular knowledge of farmers' markets and horticulture.  He is a member of Organic Growers of Ireland and the Irish Organic Farmers' and Growers' Association.

Joe Fox is Senior Development Advisor in Consumer Food with Enterprise Ireland.

Joan Furlong is an Assistant Principal and head of the Organic Unit in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Pat Lalor is an organic farmer who specialises in beef and tillage.  He is a member of Organic Trust Ltd.

Michael Miklis is an organic farmer and an expert on soil fertility.  He is a member of the Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association in Ireland.

Catherine Morrison is Environment and Quality Executive with BIM.

William Murphy is a Higher Executive Officer in the Organic Unit in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and acts as Secretary to Forás Orgánach.

Michael O'Donovan is a Principal Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

John Purcell is a director of Good Herdsmen Ltd.

Gerry Scully is Head of Rural Development with Teagasc.

Tom Turley is an organic farmer and Chairman of the IFA Rural Development Committee.

Gillian Westbrook is a Research Executive with ICSA.

Date Released: 28 August 2009