What is Organic?
Organic farming is a sustainable production system. It provides the opportunity for an alternative farming system based primarily on balancing inputs and outputs in a 'closed' system. Increased consumer awareness of food safety issues and environmental concerns has contributed to the growth in organic farming in recent years.
Organic farmers can access a range of services and information from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Regulation of the Organic Sector:
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine regulates the organic sector in Ireland. Organic Production and labelling of organic products are controlled by European regulations, Regulation (EU) No. 848/2018 as amended refers.
The EU legislation allows Member states to use private inspection bodies to carry out the inspection and licensing system of an organic operator which is the system in place in Ireland.
Converting to Organic Farming:
Organic farming involves undergoing a period of conversion in which the land and producer adjust to organic farming methods. The conversion period for the change from conventional to organic farming will be for a duration of two years. Organic Farmers will receive priority access to Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES)
Steps to Join the Organic Farming Scheme:
- Register as Organic - contact an Organic Control Body (details overleaf)
- Complete an approved Organic Farming principles course - Teagasc or National Organic Skillnet (NOTS)
- To find an Organic Agent Contact Teagasc or Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) (details overleaf)
- Having registered as an organic operator with an Organic Control Body (OCB), you may then apply to the department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to join the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).
This requires two separate online applications:
Submit a separate Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) application Online. The 2023 Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) open for applications in October 2022. Declare land parcels as "in-conversion" or "organic" on Basic Income Support Scheme (BISS) application Online.
A new participation payment will be paid to farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme of €2,000 in the first year of conversion to organic farming and €1,400 per annum thereafter
Organic Capital Investment Scheme (OCIS)
Grant assistance is available for on-farm investments.
Online applications via agrifood.ie
40% grant assistance on pre-VAT price or 60% grant assistance on pre-VAT price for qualifying young farmers.
Scheme of Grant Aid for the Development of the Organic Processing Industry (OPIG)
Grant assistance available for OFF farm investments
40% grant assistance on pre-VAT price.