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Is Organic Farming the Option for you?

Step 1 - Consider

If you can answer yes to some or all of these questions, then you should consider switching to organic production

Animal Systems

  1. Is your current stocking rate below 2 livestock units per Ha?
  2. Can your housing be modified to incorporate a bedded lying area?
  3. Are you in another agri-environmental scheme? Some scheme options may not be eligible for the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) payment

Crop Systems

  1. Can you incorporate a grass/ clover break in your rotation?
  2. Do you have a source of farmyard manure/ slurry on or near your own farm?
  3. Can you see yourself farming without relying on pesticides and chemical fertilisers

Step 2 - Investigate 

  1. Get acquainted with the adjustments required by talking to other organic farmers and contacting a local advisor.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the Organic Standards

Step 3 – Choose and Organic Certification Body and Register as an Organic operator

The Organic Certification Bodies (OCBs) provide an inspection and certification service for all Organic Production Units in Ireland. They have been designated and are regulated by the Organic Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, and are responsible for upholding the organic standards as defined by the EU.

The OCB sends an information pack on request. Further information including a guide for completing the application and the conversion plan can be sourced from these certification bodies:

IOA (Irish Organic Association), Unit 13, Inish Carraig, Golden Island, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Tel: 090 6433680 |
Email: info@irishoa.ie  Web: www.irishorganicassociation.ie 

Organic Trust, Office A1 , Town Centre House, Naas Town Centre, Dublin Road, Naas, Co. Kildare. Tel: 045 882377 | Email: info@organictrust.ie Web: www.organictrust.ie

Step 4 – Apply to join the Organic Farming Scheme

Having registered as an organic operator with an OCB, you may then apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to join the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS). This requires 2 separate online applications:

  1. Submit separate Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) application online
  2. Choose “in-conversion” or “organic” land parcels on  BISS - Basic Income Support for Sustainability - application online.  

Organic Farming Scheme (OFS)

Organic Capital Investment Scheme (OCIS)

Step 5: Complete an Approved Training Course

An approved ‘Organic Farming Principles’ course must be completed as part of the Organic Farming Scheme requirements. Information and booking details available here  

Contact the Teagasc Organics Team