National Organic Week events to raise consumer awareness

PRODUCERS, retailers and farmers’ markets nationwide will host more than 70 events countrywide during National Organic Week.

Co-ordinated by Bord Bia and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the campaign runs during September 13-19.

Now in its sixth year, National Organic Week and associated promotional events aim to further raise consumer awareness of organic food, how to recognise it when shopping and where to buy it.

Minister of State Ciarán Cuffe said that given the challenges posed by climate change and the increasingly limited availability of oil, food production systems must become more resilient.

“Organic farming methods are resilient and attractive to customers as there are strict rules on the use of artificial inputs, chemicals, and being from any GM inputs,” he said.

Minister Cuffe said National Organic Week provides the ideal opportunity to get together with family and friends to cook and taste local in-season organic produce.

Teresa Brophy, manager Ireland Market, Bord Bia, said it is an ideal opportunity for organic producers and processors to host events at a national and local level to increase consumer awareness of locally produced organic food.

The events being hosted including organic farm walks, cookery demonstrations, organic BBQs, harvest feasts and picnics, complimentary in-store sampling and tastings, allotment tours and talks and organic farming seminars.

“It is an ideal opportunity for organic producers and processors to host events at a national and local level to increase consumer awareness of locally produced organic food,” she said.

Event highlights during Organic Week will include Darina Allen’s cookery demonstration promoting good value organic meat cuts in the Nano Nagle Centre, Ballygriffin, Co Cork, on Wednesday, September 15.

Peter and Jenny Young, Castlefarm Shop, Athy, Co Kildare, will host a farm walk and vegetable harvesting day on Saturday, September 18, while Peter Ward from Country Chioce, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, is organising the annual Blas an Fhomhair organic lunch on Sunday, September 19.

Teagasc will hold its National Organic Conference entitled Challenges and Opportunities for Organic Producers in Birr, Co Offaly, on Thursday, September 16.

Bord Bia will also host the National Organic Awards 2010 on Tuesday, September 14, alongside a one day trade conference on the opportunities within the German organic market.

The awards are recognised as an important feature in the organic food and drink industry calendar.

The aim is to recognise the achievements, and raise the profile of Irish organic food and drink manufacturers.

The awards were established as part of the National Organic Plan under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Bord Bia and last year attracted over 150 entries.

Organic product categories for this year’s awards are retail, local, export, new, sustainable and overall.


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