New organisation aims to drive forward flourishing organic sector

A NEW body, Forás Orgánach, has been set up to drive forward the development of the organic sector in Ireland.

Horticulture and Food Minister Trevor Sargent made the announcement at an organic demonstration on the farm of Jenny and Peter Young, Castlefarm, Athy, Co Kildare.

Forás Orgánach replaces the National Steering Group for the Organic Sector, which recently completed its second three-year term. However, the new group has a different emphasis.

The steering group brought nominees from various stakeholder groups together to agree a programme of action. The new body, Forás Orgánach, is made up of individuals with expertise in particular areas, who can bring their talents and specialist knowledge to the efforts being made to develop the organic sector.

Mr Sargent said the steering group was an excellent forum for the various stakeholders to share their perspectives on the organic sector.

Their biggest achievement was to produce the Organic Farming Action Plan 2008-2012 which was the single most important initiative in driving the organic sector forward.

“It is vital that we do not lose momentum as we work towards the target that was set for the organic sector in the Programme for Government.

“The members of Forás Orgánach have been selected for what they, as individuals, can bring to this task. I am expecting a lot from them, but I have every confidence that, under the leadership of Noel Groome, they will deliver it.”

Meanwhile, Forestry Minister Tony Killeen has officially launched the publication, Forest Fungi of Ireland, at Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. It details 43 edible types of mushroom, 14 types best not eaten and 13 highly poisonous types.

The publication, which encourages people to forage for wild, natural and edible fungi, provides clear illustrations and descriptions of fungi.

Funded by COFORD, the publication is based on the experiences of the authors, Paul Dowding and Louis Smith, in identifying, collecting and eating wild fungi in Ireland.


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