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Organic Farming.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 November 2005

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Questions (74)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

147 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will report on organic week and the lessons learned to improve on promotion of organic growing and marketing. [34235/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

National Organic Week ran from 7 to 13 November. It was undertaken by Bord Bia on behalf of my Department. The objective was to raise consumer awareness of organic food, what it is, its benefits, where and how it is produced and where to buy it. A key message on organic food that the National Organic Week attempted to put across was that it involves an alternative method of food production which is environmentally friendly.

The main focus of National Organic Week was on a media campaign with national and localpress and radio advertising. This was supported by a public relations campaign and point-of-sale material. Window stickers, posters and recipe and information leaflets were distributed to retailers. The food service sector was encouraged, through the Féile Bia programme, to include organic food on menus. There was a special organic section on the Bord Bia website and consumers were directed there for general information and for listings of activities taking place during National Organic Week. My own Department's website has an extensive list of suppliers of organic food and consumers were directed to this site for information on product sourcing. The week and its highlights attracted a wide range of press, television and radio coverage.

It is too soon to try to assess in detail what the week achieved. An evaluation is now being carried out to assess consumer awareness and understanding of the campaign messages. The campaign will also be reviewed in December at the next meeting of the national steering group on the organic sector. I am confident, however, that it has been a valuable and productive effort and I pay tribute to Bord Bia in particular for the competence and commitment which it showed throughout the week.

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