Approximately 2,100 new entrant farmers who have applied to the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) are converting to organic production in good faith as they await news of their application status.
If converting to organics under the scheme, these new entrants should be managing their farms organically since 1 January 2023. However, they have not yet received word as to whether they are in or out.
While Minister of State Pippa Hackett and Department officials have confirmed that all farmers who’ve applied for the scheme will be in, a spokesperson for Minister Hackett said that it could be another month before conversion applicants get official word.
The 2,100 new organic farmers commencing organic conversion under the scheme are set to have organic produce ready for market in January 2025, pending compliance.
While there is a two-year conversion period, a number of applicants reported confusion about their application status at present and highlighted that they have not yet heard from organic farming bodies, the Organic Trust and the Irish Organic Association, as to where they stand.