“Biofach is the biggest organic show in the world and we are here to meet customers, existing and new. Over 50% of our sales would be in Germany.
“We sell to the supermarket chain Denree. It is the largest organic retailer in Germany. Over here, it is so stratified, you have so many different layers of retail. They have 350 stores of their own, they’ve 900 other stores that they sell product into, so that’s 1,200 which is huge.
“The organic market at home is about €250m. The organic market here is about €13bn.
“The growth here is €1bn so the growth alone is four times the Irish market, so you got to fish where the fish are.
“Getting stuff here [Germany] is easy enough. We can send out a pallet on Friday, it’s here by Monday morning.
“We have 11 of our own suppliers and about another 18 who we buy from. So we make cheese from March through to the end of October. It’s ideal for spring calvers. We don’t need people to provide milk in the winter time.
“There’s no problem with processing capacity for us. Processors would love a lot more milk.”
John Purcell and Eamonn Dwyer
“We’ve been here at Biofach for the last 22 years and it’s getting bigger and bigger every year.
“Germany would be our biggest export market and represents 28% or 29% of our total sales.
“We’ve a strong presence here both in the manufacturing markets, for example selling frozen organic beef into baby food manufacturers, and also in the retail sector, namely with the organic retail chains.
“We work with Biomarkt who have just short of 300 stores and Denns Bio is another chain of organic stores. They are both under the one umbrella called Denree, who are the national distributors of organic produce.
“Our own domestic market represents about 40% of our business and in fairness all the retailers, including the discounters, now have an organic beef skew on offer.
“After that, we’d be looking into the UK and have a very strong relationship with the online supermarket Ocado. It represents about 22% of our business.
“We are expecting a big sign-up next October to the new organic scheme. On the results of that, we will up our game and establish new markets.
“The Irish conventional trade has established good routes to market. We have good contacts through our own association with Irish beef processors so all we have to do is hang on their coat tails.”
“We have a small export market here in Germany, most of our market is domestic.
“We have a platform on Ireland in which to produce top-quality food and organic is our point of difference.
“I was happy to see the increase in payments, they need to throw the kitchen sink at it. The Government has been talking the talk for a long time and it should entice a certain type of farmer to look at organics.
“We are currently still rebuilding; we lost our factory last September in a horrendous fire. We plan to build enough capacity into our next factory and aim to double our output within the next couple of years.
“Two months ago, a farmer rang me and he was about to sign his in-conversion contract. He said, ‘will you have room for my milk in two years’ time’? I said to him that we may be on our knees at the moment but in two years’ time we will be looking for every farmer we can get.
“Currently, conventional milk is at an all-time high, so our premium has been eroded, but we would see this as a temporary measure. We are keeping pace with conventional at the moment.”
“We are farming organic salmon throughout the west coast of Ireland for over 40 years.
“Clare Island Organic Salmon Farm is the first organically certified salmon farm in both Ireland and Europe.
“Germany is a huge market for us with organic salmon. Overall, we export over 85% of all our produce and Germany accounts for about 10% to 15%. We also sell into smokers in Germany. They have a great demand for Irish produce.
“We felt that organic was the way forward for salmon farming. It’s a positive way to farm. You’re looking after the health of the fish and it’s sustainable.”
“We own the Kerry Select brand and we’ve been in business since 1963.
“We export to all the major markets within the EU and our biggest market would be Spain and Italy for fresh and frozen fish.
“A lot of frozen prawns go to Italy and we sell a lot of monkfish into Spain as well.
“Here in Germany, we are promoting mostly smoked salmon. It would be our biggest market for smoked salmon and accounts for about 50% of our smoked salmon exports.
“Organics is growing year on year and the Germans are certainly ahead of the curve.”