Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) Marie Donnelly has suggested that supermarkets in Ireland should have a minimum percentage of organically and locally produced food on their shelves.

Donnelly said such market positioning would allow consumers to reward farmers to produce in a more sustainable way.

“Should we have a minimum share of organics? Should we have a minimum share of locally produced products on the shelves in our supermarkets? It doesn’t have to be by legislation, but it could be a voluntary proposal by the supermarkets to do that," she said.

She used Denmark as an example of such an approach, where its supermarkets are required to maintain shelf space for organic produce.

Organic produce holds some 12.1% of the market share in Denmark, with the Danes spending more on it per capita than any other country.

The CCAC chair was speaking at a Teagasc Signpost webinar on the ‘challenges and opportunities of the green transition’ on Friday.


Donnelly suggested that Irish food’s selling appoint abroad is its sustainability, but said that “closer to home, I think we could do more [on this] if I’m perfectly honest”.

“We export so much of our product. The direction of travel is absolutely clear. We need sustainability, we need to demonstrate sustainability and we need to get the reward for that in our markets,” she said.

The supermarket is the “funnel where the consumer meets what the farmer produces”, says Climate Change Advisory Council chair Marie Donnelly. \ Philip Doyle

The CCAC chair said that “at the end of the day”, the supermarket is the “funnel where the consumer meets what the farmer produces”.

“We need to think about how farmers are rewarded in the market place for the products that they produce and how the consumers can best do that,” she said.


The Irish Farmers Journal revealed this week that as of Wednesday morning 30 November, some 1,292 farmers had applied to the Organic Farming Scheme.

The Department of Agriculture reports that this is an increase of 390 applications on last week, with the rate at which applications are being submitted increasing ahead of the closing date of 9 December 2022.

The Department’s organics scheme section is also reminding existing applicants finishing in the current scheme in 2022 that they will not be automatically rolled over to the new scheme starting on 1 January 2023 and must complete the application process.

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