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Gildernew goes Organic

23 January, 2008


Sinn Féin Farms Minister Gildernew MP MLA has visited a successful Coleraine organic farm.

The Minister visited Rex Humphrey's farm to learn more about organic farming and the opportunity it offers farmers here.

Touring the farm business, the Minister said:

"It is tremendous to see so much enthusiasm and confidence in this sector. The scale of investment in this business and the plans for growth, particularly in the dairy enterprise, bode well for the future of organic farming here."

During her visit, the Minister toured the farm and met some of the nine staff employed in running and managing the business, which includes a 400 cow dairy herd, 70 cow suckler herd and 400 acres of cereals.

Also commenting on the organic sector generally, Minister Gildernew said:

"Marketing Groups like United Irish Organics show vision and offer organic farmers now, and in the future, a clear route to market. The level of co-operation shown within the group, combined with Rex's expertise and knowledge of marketing, has undoubtedly contributed to the success of United Irish Organics.

"I am more confident than ever about the opportunity organic farming offers producers here. A planned approach to production and marketing is the key and has been successful. My Department will continue to work with organic farmers and support those considering conversion to organic systems. I look forward to seeing this sector go from strength to strength, and increasing the availability of locally produced organic food for the consumer." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:


Rex Humphrey farms around 600 hectares (1500 acres) at Castleroe on the outskirts of Coleraine. He has been farming organically for 10 years and was instrumental in the setting up of United Irish Organics, an organic marketing organisation, of which he is currently the Managing Director.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides support to the organic sector through its resource at the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise Greenmount Campus, offering education, advice and training courses. For more information contact [email protected]

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