Minister of State Pippa Hackett co-chaired the spring meeting of the horticulture industry forum on Tuesday.

Members of the forum heard from Niamh Lenehan of the Agri-Food Regulator and Robert Malone of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and were also updated on the progress of the key strategic actions contained in the National Strategy for Horticulture 2023-2027 that was published at the beginning of June last year.

“We had a very productive meeting today and there are a number of action points raised by the sector that I've taken away for consideration and to follow up on.

"The IFA’s work on developing a charter between retailers, consolidators and growers is very encouraging and I was also delighted to hear of the focus the Agri-Food Regulator is placing on the horticulture sector.”


The minister also heard at first hand from growers on the status of the sub-sectors, with challenging weather conditions, access to labour and tight margins cited as particular causes for concern.

The new relief provisions for carbon tax which commenced on 1 April were welcomed by the protected crop and mushroom sector and the development of the new research orchard at Teagasc’s Oak Park in Carlow was also praised.