News Archive
May 2024

Hackett announces €1.5m to reopen organic processing scheme

Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett has announced the reopening of the Organic Processing Investment Grant (OPIG) Scheme.

This tranche of the scheme has a budget of €1.5 million to support investments in the Irish organic processing sector.

It brings to €3 million the grant aid available to organic processors in 2024, according to Minister Hackett.

The OPIG scheme provides funding to processors who wish to invest in developing facilities for the processing, preparation, grading, packing and storage of organic products.

This new tranche of the scheme will open tomorrow (Tuesday, May 14) and will remain open until June 14. Applications can be made to the national exchequer-funded scheme by post or email by the closing date.

Minister Hackett commented: “Earlier this year I opened OPIG with a new higher 60% grant rate and a budget of €1.5 million. Due to unprecedented demand, I am now delighted to announce a further €1.5 million is being made available for the scheme.

“Following the publication of the Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan 2024-2027, the state now has a target to purchase 10% organic when procuring food. We need to make sure as much of this as possible is Irish organic food,” she added.

In early April, the government approved the Green Public Procurement (GPP) Strategy that mandates that 10% of the value of food purchased via public procurement must be accounted for by produce that is certified organic.

The food categories to which the 10% organic rule will apply are cereals, fresh beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, vegetables, and dairy produce.

The new strategy, which comes with an action plan for its implementation, replaces the current system of ‘green tenders’.

Minister Hackett continued: “I know from talking to processors that there is significant interest in the OPIG scheme… This scheme, along with the ongoing work of Bord Bia and the entire sector, demonstrates to organic farmers that we are making every effort to ensure there will be strong demand for their produce.”

According to the minister, some 1,000 farmers have begun the process of converting to organic farming this year, bringing to 5,000 the number of farmers who are farming organically or in the process of doing so.

The minister said: “We want to ensure that a market premium is obtained for organic output. Investing in our processing sector, which allows organic processors to increase efficiencies and capacity, is key to this.” QR Code

Published Date: May 13, 2024

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