Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, announced that Bord Bia will commence the largest ever national campaign for Irish organics. The campaign commences on November 6th and runs until December 17th, with a second burst in spring 2024.
The Minister made the announcement at the Natexpo International Trade show for organic products in Paris. Minister Hackett is attending the show with Bord Bia and a number of Irish organic producers continuing efforts to grow the market for Irish organic produce across Europe.
Speaking about the announcement, Minister Pippa Hackett commented, “this exciting new campaign from Bord Bia is another crucial component in my Department’s commitment to boost the Irish organic sector as outlined in the Food Vision 2030 strategy. This is the latest in a continuing suite of policy measures to support organic farmers and the growth of the organic sector in Ireland. Most recently, I secured funding of €57 million for organic farmers under Budget 2024. This is a 54% increase on this year’s Organic Farming Scheme budget and continues the upward trajectory of funding for organic farmers. This year we also established the ‘Growing Organics’ farm monitor programme with Teagasc to support excellence in organic farming and provided Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) supported funding of €1.7 million to the Organic Processing Investment Grant Scheme. The delivery of this Bord Bia campaign was made possible by my Department gaining approval for the allocation of €1.5 million in BAR funding to Bord Bia for the promotion of organics.”
Over 2,000 farmers joined the Organic Farming Scheme in 2023, doubling the number of organic farms in Ireland. There are now approximately 180,000 hectares under organic production in Ireland, representing 4% of total agricultural land. The Climate Action Plan targets an increase in the area of land under organic production to approximately 445,000 hectares, or 10% of land, by 2030.
Emmet Doyle, Bord Bia Organic Sector Manager said, “over the next three years, we expect to see increased volumes of organically produced Irish food. The aim of the campaign is to build consumer preference for Irish organic food and drink in tandem with this growing availability.”
Bord Bia worked with key organic stakeholders throughout the campaign development via the Organic Forum, which consists of key organic industry stakeholders, including farm organisations, retailers and processors.
Emmet Doyle continued, “in preparation for the campaign, we undertook six months of consumer research with over 2,500 Irish organic shoppers, to learn more about attitudes to organic produce and shopping behaviours. Using this insight, we identified two cohorts of shoppers to target. These are the middle ground of organic shoppers: they may buy some organics, but it is not a priority for them all the time or they may actively look for organics but can be dissuaded by price. The campaign will address this by educating consumers about Irish organic food and drink, and by encouraging them to increase the frequency and quantity of their Irish organic purchases.”
According to the study, over eight in ten Irish shoppers buy organic food and drink in some capacity. One in two shoppers claim to buy organic meat and/or dairy on a weekly basis, and eggs and vegetables are the largest category for organic shoppers.