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Economics Of Organics Needs To Be Clarified – ICMSA.

Commenting on the announcement by Minister Hackett on improved payment rates under the Organics Scheme from 1 January 2023, Mr. Denis Drennan, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee said that while improved payment rates are always welcome, the reality is that unless the economics of organic farming stands up, it will not develop as a sector and the relevant authorities need to be honest with farmers in this regard.

With conventionally produced products such as dairy, beef and lamb making more than their organic equivalents in the marketplace at present and with only 3 to 4 organic sheep and cattle being marketed as organic, it is essential that before incentivising farmers into a new enterprise, that markets are identified for organic produce that will, and this is critical, deliver a price to organic farmers that will deliver a good income for their efforts.   ICMSA is concerned that we are incentivising people into a sector without an identifiable market in place and this would be hugely damaging for the individuals concerned but also the wider organic sector.

At this stage, ICMSA believes that Minister Hackett should ask Teagasc to develop income projections for organic farming enterprises, should ask Bord Bia to do a full market analysis including the likely returns from the marketplace, publish the results and let farmers make the decision on going organic based on the full facts.

In the past, with diversification options, we have incentivised farmers into sectors where the market failed to materialise, it is hugely important that we do not make the same mistake again, concluded Mr. Drennan.

Ends       22 July 2022

Denis Drennan is at (086) 8389401.

ICMSA Head Office: (061) 314677