February 22, 2023
“State must do more for organic agri-food industries” – MacManus and Carthy commend Irish Organic Mills & Ballybay Food Hub

“State must do more for organic agri-food industries” – MacManus and Carthy commend Irish Organic Mills & Ballybay Food Hub
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus and TD Matt Carthy for Cavan-Monaghan and party spokesperson on agriculture, have commended Ballybay Food Hub and Irish Organic Mills in Monaghan. The Sinn Féin representatives said that such native models and produce should be promoted more by the state in communities, retailers, wholesalers and enterprises across Ireland. 
 MEP MacManus said:
“I was pleased to visit the Ballybay Hub in Monaghan recently alongside my colleague Matt Carthy. We would like to thank Finbarr Daly and Alan Kilpatrick from the Food Hub, and Mark Gillanders and Micheál Rafferty from Irish Organic Mills for taking the time to meet us and show us around this very impressive facility.”
“There is great potential for budding agri-food entrepreneurs in the region for making use of the expertise and facilities in the hub, and it is clear to see why it has such an appeal with the quality and diligence of the guidance the hub provides.”
“Irish authorities and the department must do more to foster homegrown products such as flour and other produce, and ensure they are stacked on supermarket and wholesaler’s shelves across the state, particularly when the state is oftentimes importing the very same goods from abroad. We have the means to produce and sell Irish goods here so that must be the priority.” 
“There is also huge potential to sell these goods at a premium abroad, like other Irish agri-food goods, whether its dairy, beef, beverages etc. We need to make use of the fantastic reputation Irish agri-food products have.”
Teachta Dála Carthy said:

“Organic production can provide a mechanism to improve farm incomes and assist Ireland in meeting our climate obligations.  It is therefore imperative that government supports organic farmers by ensuring that their produce is marketed in Ireland and beyond, and that procurement policies reflect the growing public desire for organic food.”
“The Irish Organic Mill has huge potential for farmers in Monaghan and our local economy, but it must be supported by government and state agencies.  The Ballybay Food Hub provides an important support in the development of such businesses, but the local endeavours must be met with state and EU focus, especially in the area of organics.”
Carthy concluded, “Companies like the Irish Organic Mill need more than lip-service.  They need and deserve a co-ordinated organics strategy that facilitates farmers into organic production by ensuring financial viability and sustainability.  That is what Sinn Féin is striving for and what we intend to deliver in government”. ENDS

Sinn Féin’s Chris MacManus MEP and Matt Carthy TD pictured with Mark Gillanders and Micheál Rafferty from Irish Organic Mills

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