Organic Farming in Ireland – Why Choose Organic?
Organic Farming in Ireland is regulated by standards requiring the highest level of respect for the environment.
Organic farming uses sustainable methods of food production and embodies the respectful use of the countryside and concern for animal welfare.
- There is no use of artificial fertilizers or chemical sprays allowed on the land.
• The welfare of animals is central to organic principles. Our standards mean:
• No factory farming
• Lots of outdoor space and fresh air
• Encouragement of normal animal behaviour
• No routine use of drugs and vaccines
• No genetically modified (GM) feed or growth hormones
• Minimised stress in transport and slaughter
Organic farming is a holistic method of agriculture. Through a positive management approach to health and welfare, farmers aim to prevent disease from occurring on the farm. If disease does occur then organic farmers are encouraged to use natural and complementary therapies. If these are not appropriate then in the interest of animal welfare medicines, including antibiotics, may be used as a last resort.If medicine or antibiotics are used the withdrawal time is tripled and if treatment is used for a second time the product (meat or milk )is withdrawn and cannot be sold as organic.
Organic farming works to minimise animal stress through good management techniques, providing good housing, adequate bedding and mixed or clean grazing (which helps keep down parasite-related diseases). On organic farms, ‘native’ breeds often play an important role in ensuring the positive health of animals. They have adapted to include suitability to locality (climate, elevation and soils), hardiness, disease resistance, temperament, and ability to thrive on a high roughage diet.The organic sector in Ireland is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Food. Farmers, growers and processors undergo a stringent annual inspection process before receiving a licence from one of the organic bodies to sell their produce as organic.
When you buy organic produce produced locally you can be confident your money will remain locally and give worthwhile jobs locally unlike the large supermarkets who repatriate all the profits made in Ireland.
Supporting local produce also enhances food security which is very important. Multinational companies only care about profits and food is too important to be left in the total control of these companies.
When buying organic meat always look to see the producers up to date organic licence and certification and then you can be sure that you are buying organic produce.
In most intensive agricultural systems, faster growing breeds that produce more milk or meat tend to be used. As a result the welfare of some breeds has been seriously compromised eg Belgian Blue cross animals will very often need caesarian operations at calving. This is an unnatural system and can put animals under excessive stress, weaken their natural immune systems and increase reliance on antibiotics and vaccines.
Modern varieties of grain will only perform well under conditions of high usage of herbicides,pesticides,and fertilizer. Great for the merchants and agri-business in general but not for the consumer.
Organic farming is a sustainable and safe method of food production,protects the environment and the farmers health,enhances food security, and is the only option for family farms to remain viable into the future.