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GREEN IRELAND CONFERENCE. Why the co-op ?. Increase in number of organic farmers. Need to come together to market meat Need to organise livestock marts Trying to improve incomes for farmers Provision Of Training and Education for members. History. Registered as a co-op in 1998

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    2. Why the co-op ? • Increase in number of organic farmers. • Need to come together to market meat • Need to organise livestock marts • Trying to improve incomes for farmers • Provision Of Training and Education for members

    3. History • Registered as a co-op in 1998 • Members mainly based in Leitrim and Roscommon • Development worker appointed in 2001 • Granted a 6 year Social economy Programme under FAS in 2001 • Manager appointed + 3 staff in 2001 • Appointed Promoter Group for Western Organic Network Skillnet in 2003

    4. Achievements • Developed Contracts for Organic Beef and Lamb • Supply Contracts with Martin Jennings Wholesale Ballinrobe and O’Toole Butchers Dublin • Cross Border Contract Developed with Linden Foods (owns Slaney meats in ROI) supplying cattle 60 cattle/month • Licensed Processing Unit in Bawnboy Co. Cavan supplying 3 farmers markets .

    5. Direct Meat Sales Business • Established June 2005 • Mobile Organic Butcher Imported form France. • Towed with Refrigerated van. • Designed for Farmers Markets • Now Operational at Boyle, Carrick-on-Shannon and Sligo Farmers Markets

    6. Organic Mobile Butcher

    7. Additional Services • Farm accounts and Form Filling • Provides Administration Services for Western Organic Network • Povides advise and support to members • Compiles “North and West Organic Producer”

    8. Representation • Dept. Of Ag. Organic Market Development Group • Food Safety Authority of Irl. Artisan Forum • Roscommon and Leitrim Partnership Smallholders Committees • GM Free Ireland Network

    9. Collaborations • Partnered with North West Organic Inishowen, and The Organic Centre Rossinver to from Western Organic Strategic Initiative (WOSI) in 2000 facilitated by WDC • 3 areas to be addressd: - Education and training - Market Development - Communications

    10. Collaborations Results Atlantic Organics * Developeing added value products * Product launches Mid 2006 * Products based on available produce • Western Organic Network * Privision of Training for new and existing producers * Bringing all organic producers under one umbrella

    11. Future Plans! • On-Going Development of Farmers Markets • On line Bulk Meat Sales delivering along selected routes • Ecommerce site in development .

    12. Training Opportunities In the Organic Sector2006 / 2007 Western Organic Network

    13. The Western Organic Network • The Western Organic Network is a network of organic farmers / producers / processors principally located in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon, Cavan, expanded into Mayo, Galway and Clare for 2006/2007. • Managed by a Steering Group • One co-ordinator with administration support • 5 sub networks located throughout the region • The Training Project is funded by member companies, the European Social Fund and the National Development Plan“ • Main aim is to provide subsidised tailored training to individuals to assist the development of their organic enterprise

    14. Contents • Introduction • Benefits & Opportunities • Barriers to Development • New Courses • Other Activities • Membership

    15. Introduction • Organic production seen as a best option for the future of agriculture in the West Of Ireland (WDC Report) • Barriers to development • Recognised the need for training in the organic sector and the provision of networked support to organic farmers/producers to develop new markets and to assist and encourage new members

    16. Barriers to development • Organic sector based on low levels of high quality produce ( lack of scale) • Lack of Proper Market Development • Large levels of misinformation around livestock management. • More Research and Development to support producers

    17. Benefits & Opportunities • Demand steadily growing for Organic Produce • Potential for small scale viability • New contracts / Local market • Opportunities in all areas • Horticulture • Pigs • Poultry • Beef • Sheep • Less reliant on large processors • Lower inputs into agriculture • Meets Environmental Regulations • Nitrates Directive • Blends well with new developments in agriculture • Single Farm Payment • REPS

    18. Commercial Horticulture Course Conversion to Organics Practical Organic Livestock Management Marketing and Selling Organic Produce Business Development Train the Trainer Organic Egg Production Cut Herb Production Farmer Market Development Cut Herb Production Farm Accounts Organic Poultry Production Organic Pig Production Quality Meat Production Beekeeping Food Hygiene / HACCP Cheese Making Salad Production Grassland Management Renewable Energy On Organic Farms Crop Planning Courses for 2006 / 2007

    19. Other Activities • Farm Walks • Demonstration days • Information evenings • Development, and constant review of training programmes through participant feedback • Provision of information on organics especially in niche or underdeveloped markets • Strategic development of organic farming from field production to sales • Supporting farmers markets

    20. Course Details • Courses designed to suit the needs of the participants • Flexible attendance times • If possible venues will be located as near as possible to suit participants • Courses designed based on needs • See information pack for course details • Some courses are at concept stage and will only be developed if genuine interest is shown

    21. Membership • Fees • €60 per year • Additional course fees also apply • Benefits • Invitation to monthly producer meeting in your area • Invitation to network events (Guest speakers, social events, demonstrations etc) • An annual farm visit by expert staff to discuss your training needs • Access to reduced cost training • Access to demonstration farms across the North West • Regular reports on network activity

    22. Contact Details Sean McGloin Network Manager Western Organic Network The Enterprise Centre Hill Road Drumshanbo Co Leitrim Tel 071 9640868 Fax 071 9640869 Mob 0872260647 Email Website

    23. Thank you for your attention