Organics is now a 'star performer' of EU food sector
The organic sector will become a major driver of EU food exports over the next five years, Commissioner Phil Hogan has predicted.
Delivering the keynote address at the Biofach organic show in Nuremburg, Germany, Commissioner Hogan said the continuing growth in sales of organic food exports highlighted the potential of the industry.
"In the EU, sales of organic food are up 6pc year on year for the last three years and were worth €22.2bn in 2013. Organics is a star performer and it is my goal for organic to become a leader and driver for EU exports," Commissioner Hogan said.
Each year a number of Irish organic companies join the 2,200 plus exhibitors at Biofach, with the show providing a shop window where producers can display their wares to a wider audience of buyers and distributors in Europe, enabling Irish products to get access into the multiple retail chains.
Sean Galvin from Irish Seaspray, a company based in Connemara producing smoked salmon, said their presence at the show had paid dividends.
"This year Biofach was very successful for us, we signed a contract with Bio-Co-op supplying their 400 organic stores in France, and we also signed a contract to supply a large retailer in Australia," Mr Galvin said.
"In practical terms for us this means we will be increasing our production to 600t for 2015 and increasing our workforce from 30 staff on a three-day week to 55 staff working fulltime. So it is obviously hugely important for us to be at Biofach," he said.