The organic market is growing everywhere and no other agricultural market is seeing such growth, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“The demand is there, certainly on the European market. It’s something we’ve seen grow year on year. In 2020, there was a growth of about 15%.

“There’s no other market growing at that rate within agriculture. The value of it [organics] in Europe alone in 2020 was €52bn, so it’s a sizeable market,” she said.

Ireland, she said, has a market that is also growing.

If Ireland increases its output in the next five years, the Minister said that she would like to see some of that be secured in the domestic market.

However, she admitted that processing capacity is an issue and a concern that people often bring up.

“In terms of meat processing, we are probably OK but in terms of further processing milk, many people I’ve spoken to have said they haven’t a dedicated milk dryer, for example.

“I think that’s something we do need to look into, is supporting the processing side,” she said.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal in Germany at the Biofach show in Germany, she said animal welfare, if it’s not the first, is the second thing consumers ask for.

“I think in terms of the way animals are reared on organic farms, there are specifications that have to be met and I think that feeds into the benefit of the welfare as a whole.

“That is an important part of organic farming,” she said.


The targets to grow organic production at European level, are ambitious, but Ireland’s target of 7.5% “should be relatively easy to obtain,” she said.

In relation to carbon targets, the minister said that there is a “plethora of options” for farmers to meet whatever target is decided on. Farmers should “focus on solutions instead on focusing on things we are unwilling to do,” she said.