TResearch Autumn 2018
The Future of Food
The Future of Food
Fodder still an issue
Proceedings of the National REPS Conference 2008
For many Irish farms the simplest and most financially rewarding system of production will be based on maximizing the use of grazed grass. With good grassland management it is possible to have a long grazing season of high quality feed at low cost. On an organic farm, clover is the driver of grassland production.
Organic produce is one of the few expanding markets in the food and farming sector. This expansion is consumer driven. The greatest demand is for fruit and vegetables but this follows through to a much wider range of products, i.e., dairy products, meat, processed foods etc. Market surveys in Europe and all over the world show a huge scope for expansion in organic produce.
Consumer interest in organic food has expanded rapidly in recent years. While production of food to organic standards has also expanded, output is still not sufficient to meet demand. Consumers have to put up with intermittent supply and imported produce. Home grown organic fruit and vegetables are always in scarce supply. One of the basics of an Irish diet is potatoes and growing potatoes organically as part of a rotation on an organic unit would produce a very saleable commodity.
The purpose of this report is to assess marketing channels for conversion grade products as outlined in WP3 of the technical annex. The evaluation from the organic farmer and retailer perspective supplements the previous work package (WP2) that examined factors affecting conventional farmers considering conversion to organic farming.
In Ireland approximately 60% (29,999 ha total land under organic) or 17,985 ha are in conversion with 12,014 ha fully organic. Of the 1083 registered producers 65% are in meat production with 40% in beef and 25% in sheep meat production. Vegetable production accounts for a further 13%, with cereals, milk, poultry and fruit making up the remainder.
The number of people engaged in organic farming in the E.U. continues to grow, primarily in response to the growth in demand for organic produce. It is estimated that 17 million people in Europe now eat some organic food. In Austria and Denmark some 8% and 6% of the land, respectively is farmed organically. Some countries have targets of 10% of total agricultural produce being produced organically.
Teagasc Research Programme 2002