By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
HomeA-Z IndexSubscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Organic Farming - An Overview

Organic Farming

Organic Farming is a specific system of farming whose aim is to produce quality food in a manner beneficial to the environment and to wildlife. Organic farmers practice farming in accordance with standards, which have been formulated for crop and livestock production. The thrust of these standards is to develop a system of farming that co-exists with other systems, sustains soil fertility and protects the environment, wildlife and non-renewable resources.

Organic production and labelling of organic products is controlled by European and national regulations, i.e. European Council Regulation (EEC) No. 834/2007 as amended, which is backed up by Statutory Instruments Nos. 112 of 2004 and 698 of 2007. The EU legislation allows Member States to use private inspection bodies to carry out the inspection and licensing system of organic operators. Four certification bodies are approved to carry out this work in Ireland, i.e. Irish Organic Association (IOA), Organic Trust Limited (OT), BDA- Demeter UK and SAI Global Certification Limited.

Assistance for the Development of the Sector

Organic Farming Scheme

The objective of the Organic Farming Scheme is to deliver enhanced environmental and animal welfare benefits and to encourage producers to respond to the market demand for organically produced food.

To be eligible for this measure, farmers must be licensed by one of the four certification bodies approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, they must also register with the Organic Unit of the Department and commit to farm organically for a minimum period of 5 years.

The payment rates are as follows:

Horticulture Holdings:

Organic horticulture producers, with horticulture area of one hectare or more, are eligible for the following payments provided that at least 50% of the area eligible for organic payment is cropped1 each year:

 

Horticulture Area of  ≤ 6ha

Horticulture Area of      > 6ha and up to 60ha

Horticulture Area   > 60ha

In conversion

€300/ha

€220/ha

€60/ha

Full organic status

€200/ha

€170/ha

€30/ha

 

Tillage Holdings:

 Organic tillage producers, with tillage area of six hectares or more, are eligible for the following payments:

 

Tillage Area ≤ 20 hectares (ha)

Farmed Area > 20ha and up to 60ha

Farmed Area          > 60 ha

In conversion

€260/ha

€220/ha

€60/ha

Full organic status

€170/ha

€170/ha

€30/ha

 

All Other Holdings:

 

Farmed Area of ≥ 3ha and up to 60 ha

Farmed Area > 60ha

In conversion

€220/ha

€60/ha

Full organic status

€170/ha

€30/ha

In addition, a top-up of €30/ha per annum for red clover is included up to a maximum of 10 hectares.

Schemes of Grant-Aid for the Development of the Organic Sector

Development grants are available both to farmers and to processors to facilitate the development of the organic sector so as to ensure a regular supply of high quality organic produce to the market. Schemes provide grant aid for new equipment and facilities for production, preparation, grading, packing, storage, distribution and sale of organic products.

It also aims to provide an incentive to organic young farmers to upgrade their agricultural buildings and equipment by providing them with an increased level of support to meet the considerable capital costs associated with the establishment of their enterprises.

 

Further information is available from the Organic Unit, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford. Lo-call: 0761 066452 or 053 9163400, email: organics@agriculture.gov.ie