A trading hub for organic farmers to sell and buy livestock and produce has been launched by Minister of State Pippa Hackett.
Organic farmers can now place and view adverts for free under the Organic Hub, available online.
There is also a section on the new platform advertising organic events across the country in order to keep current and potential organic farmers up to date.
“Organic farming is going through a period of unprecedented growth in Ireland. This new Organic Hub, funded by the Department of Agriculture and developed in partnership with our stakeholders, is another clear demonstration of the measures being put in place to support that growth,” said Minister Hackett.
The minister said the hub will help close the gap between organic farmers, where volumes of organic produce, particularly lamb, leak into the conventional sector for processing or further rearing. She added that trading between organic farmers will improve as more enter the sector.
The hub also delivers on one of the key asks of the organic strategy forum, according to Minister Hackett.
“The hub is free to use and the ambition is that it will act as a central platform connecting organic farmers, facilitating the buying and selling of organic livestock and produce across the country.
“Through a user-friendly online platform, the Organic Hub will allow organic farmers to showcase their high-quality produce and livestock to a wide network of buyers, both locally and nationally.
"The hub will also have a calendar of events, which will allow organic farmers to remain up to date with what’s happening regarding organic farming around the country,” she explained.
Chair of the organic strategy forum Padraig Brennan said: “One of the main challenges to growing the value of organic output, which was highlighted at the forum, has been the co-ordination of existing supplies and accessing organic inputs.
“The Organic Hub represents an important step in helping farmers to connect with each other to buy and sell in a user-friendly manner.”