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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Is organic dairy farming a real alternative for conventional dairy farming?

EDIC Sligo is hosting a free online webinar to explore if organic dairy farming is a real alternative for conventional dairy farming.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, November 18th at 2:30 pm.

Four speakers will discuss this topic and other aspects of organic dairy farming including the Review of Organic Food Sector and Strategy for its development 2019-2025.

  • Daria Hawat – Policy officer for organics in the Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission;
  • John Liston – organic dairy farmer and director of the Little Milk Company;
  • Gillian Westbrook – CEO of Irish Organic Association;
  • Nigel Renaghan – Chairman of IFA organics project team.

The panel will discuss what Ireland needs to do to make organic dairy farming a real alternative for conventional dairy farmers. Questions from attendees can be taken via Zoom chat.

EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 

The spotlight will also be on the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.

“The EU Green Deal envisages a climate neutral Europe by 2050. In order to achieve this target, Europe will have to change the way it lives, eats, works and houses itself.”

“As part of this process of change, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 set a target that at least 25% of agricultural land is under organic farming management, and the uptake of agro-ecological practices is significantly increased by 2030.”

“In Ireland, currently only 2% of land is farmed organically. We have, according to 2019 figures, 62 organic dairy farmers. They made up approximately 1% of dairy farming in 2019.

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Does the scheme need to be overhauled?

“Many dairy farmers are wondering if they have any choice about what they see as their future in dairying: grow big or perish?”

“John Liston and the farmers, who created the Little Milk Company, thought their future could be different. They are organic dairy farmers whose milk is used to create organic cheese.”

The EU Biodiversity Strategy has set a target for 25% of agricultural land in Europe to be under organic farming management by 2030.

“Ireland currently has 2% of its agricultural land under organic farming management. The Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine has a support scheme for organic farming including dairy organic farms.”

“Does this scheme need to be overhauled so that conventional dairy farmers will view organic dairy production as a reasonable economic proposition?”


To access the document click here, or to register, see here.

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