'We need detailed analysis of what is going on at farm level'
Padraig Fahy and Una Ni Bhroin started Beechlawn Organic Farm in 2003 on the outskirts of Ballinasloe, Co Galway.
The couple met in the Organic College at Dromcollogher, Co Limerick and decided to move back to Galway and grow organic vegetables on Padraig's family farm.
They started out slowly, developing the business gradually. They now have 62ac of land, some of which is owned and the rest rented.
Almost 30 acres are in crop production, with some land under grass and the remainder in conversion to organic production.
Beechlawn employs 14 people year-round, and up to 20 in the summertime.
They supply retailers, wholesalers, independent stores and businesses in Galway, Clare and Dublin. They also have a web-shop and operate a home delivery service for customers wishing to source fruit and vegetables direct.
Padraig approached Gillian Westbrook from the Irish Organic Association, outlining what he saw as a growing market for organic horticulture crops and issues with supplying that market.
On the back of that initial conversation, an EIP Operational Group was formed with other growers, agronomists and data collectors, to see if these issues could be explored in greater detail under the EIP-Agri programme.