This latest report by Bard Bia identifies clear potential for the development of the organic food sector in Ireland. It is also clear that significant challenges confront the sector in fully realising this potential. Bard Bia's market development and promotional programmes, at home and overseas, equally accommodate the development of opportunities in growth market segments such as organic foods. In addition, specific programmes and activities have been designed to further support the development of the sector.
The increasing number of food scares across Europe over recent years has led to a strong rise in consumer demand for food products that have been produced without the use of pesticides or other chemicals and in more recent times free from genetic modification. This has meant that increasing numbers of consumers have been turning to organic food as a source of good quality healthy food. Given the trends that have been particularly evident over the last few years this development is likely to accelerate further over the next decade.
Problems regarding the consistent availability of organic food products have to some extent been inhibiting the level of growth in consumer demand for organic produce, as some consumers have me frustrated with the ad hoc availability of supplies. Also, there is an increasing consumer demand for more value added organic food products with a longer shelf life