About the Organic Growers of Ireland
The Organic Growers of Ireland was set up in 2008 with the following aims:
To represent the needs and views of Irish growers
To support effective and dynamic promotion of organic produce
To identify training needs of growers
To share practical and market information and facilitate networking between members
To improve access to technical information on organic horticulture
To encourage new entrants to organic production
The impetus for setting up the OGI arose from the lack of development within the horticultural sector and the need to provide growers with a voice in formulating policy that affects their livelihoods. A number of initiatives have been undertaken by the group since 2008.
A submission on the development of organic horticulture was presented to the Minister for Horticulture in April, 2010. This outlined the current state of production in the country and the main deficits within the sector.
The plan proposed the appointment of a horticultural development officer who would be responsible for:
The provision of training to fast track at least 20 new growers a year
On-going educational/training support for existing growers
Development of structures to initiate a mentoring scheme for growers
Development of an advisory service
Expansion of the domestic market and marketing structures
RESEARCH, education & trainings, FARM WALKS.
It also identified other areas of need such as research, third level and postgraduate education, an apprenticeship scheme for growers and a producer support scheme.
A very successful series of farm walks were held over the past three years and will be continued during 2012. Further details are given in our events section.
A national grower’s conference was held in November, 2010 and over 80 growers attended to discuss topics such as seed saving, protected cropping, compost making and marketing of produce.
A series of training workshops have been organised in partnership with the Irish Seed Savers Association aimed at developing a network of seed savers throughout the country to ensure food security and seed sovereignty. These have been well attended by growers and should enable Seed Savers to provide a much wider range and volume of seeds for growing.
The OGI was set up by growers working in a voluntary capacity, and in order to work, it needs your help, support and involvement. We invite you to join us to give a strong voice to organic horticulture. Our intention is to have an informal all-Ireland structure, with full membership open to certified growers in thirty-two counties.
We are aware of the existence of a large group of committed back gardeners, teachers/trainers, academics, students and consumers who support organic horticulture and we would like to invite them to become associate members of the OGI.
Upcoming Farm Walks & Workshops
Find out more about the next available Farm Walks and Workshops on our Events page.