Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett is working on putting organic food in prisons, hospitals and schools to increase the consumption of organic food in Ireland.

“Maybe a way where the State can play a role is in the area of public procurement. Countries across Europe are looking at using more organic produce or local [produce] in canteens that are publicly serviced, whether it could be hospitals, prisons, schools,” she said.

Minister Hackett said she is working with her Green Party colleague, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement Ossian Smyth on how organic food could be used more in these public facilities.

This work is looking at how there could be “targets for public procurement so that we could ensure that a certain percentage might be organic into the future”, Hackett explained.

“We can’t unfortunately say Irish, we can’t say local but we can say organic,” she said, suggesting that the move would help the development of the domestic organic market.