Latest News

Government Prioritization of Climate Bill is Welcome Milestone
Taoiseach hopes it will become law by Christmas

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the inclusion of the Climate Action Bill on the A-list in the Government’s legislative programme for the new Dáil session. This is the first time climate legislation has made the A-list and copper-fastens the Taoiseach’s stated desire to see the Bill become law before the end of the year.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said

“This is a significant milestone on the road to rational policy-making on climate change in Ireland.

“The Climate Bill has the potential to drive timely, evidence-based and accountable decision-making on how best we cut our emissions and make the most of the opportunities presented by the transition to a low-carbon economy. We very much welcome the fact that the new Minister for the Environment and the Government have prioritized it like never before.

“We look forward to working with TDs and Senators to ensure that the final Bill that is passed is as robust as possible. The consultation process run by the Michael McCarthy’s Oireachtas environment committee last year was a model of deliberative and inclusive analysis. We remain hopeful that more of that Committee’s recommendations can be incorporated into the final law.”

The Government decision to prioritize the Climate Bill comes a day after Nicolas Stern and the New Climate Economy group released a major report on how climate action is good for economic prosperity.

Next week Taoiseach Enda Kenny is attending the UN climate summit designed to “galvanize action” to which Ban Ki-Moon has asked leaders to bring “bold actions and announcements”. Friends of the Earth has called on the Taoiseach to tell the UN Summit that Ireland plans to be fossil-fuel free in electricity and buildings by 2040 and that climate justice will be one the principles that Ministers will have to consider in drawing up climate action plans.

As part of the world’s largest ever public mobilization on climate change in advance of the UN Summit Friends of the Earth is one of the organizers of the People’s Climate Picnic in Stephen’s Green on Sunday at 12pm.

For more information contact Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, on 086-8529528


Friends of the Earth
9 Upper Mount Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 6394652
www.foe.ie

-
STAP Event/ Farmwalk
- all welcome
Counts as a STAP approved farmwalk

at the farm of :Walter Campbell,
Cornaroy, Drumshanbo,
Co. Leitrim
2.30pm
19th September 2014

organised by Ray Gilmartin and Osmonds Healthcare and Leitrim Organic Farmers Coop

Looking at:
Healthcare, Nutrition
and conditioning,
Organic farming,
Flock health breeding,
Grassland management

**************************************************

Ban on fracking confirmed by Leitrim County Council
Despite external pressure on Leitrim County Council to soften their ban on fracking within the county, a decision to strengthen the ban was taken by the council on 15th September. There has also been an announcment by Kerry C.C. to ban fracking within their own county.
For more details of the ammended decision by Leitrim County Council go to: http://goodenergiesalliance.com/2014/09/15/ban-on-fracking-confirmed-by-leitrim-county-council/

*****************************************************
Drumshanbo Organic Mart coming soon

The next Drumshanbo Organic Mart is scheduled for 20th September 2014
It is important for all participants to contact their Organic Certification body (IOFGA or Organic Trust) as soon as possible to book in your sheep and cattle.
Thank you
*****************************************************
KILMALLOCK CO LIMERICK

27 September

DRUMSHANBO CO LEITRIM

20 September

18 October

22 November

ROSCOMMON CO ROSCOMMON

11 October

NEWPORT CO TIPPERARY

01 November (Cattle)

NEW ROSS CO WEXFORD

01 October

ENNISTYMON CO CLARE

26 September (Cattle & Sheep)
*****************************************************

Organic Award for Places to Stay


We are proud to announce that Alder Cottage at Bluebell Organic Farm has been nominated by the Soil Association for the Organic Award for Places to Stay this year.

Bluebell Organic Farm, which has been certified with IOFGA (Irish Organic Farmers and Growers) since 1997, lies on the slopes of Benbo mountain in the unpolluted and unspoilt air of lovely Leitrim..

Please take the time to show your support and vote for this prestigious award on http://action.soilassociation.org/page/s/placestostayvote

***Voting closes on 30 September***

Alder Cottage is a self catering  cottage located on Bluebell organic farm. For more information :

http://aldercottage.com/

Contact: Mary – telephone: +353 (0) 86 1025317 email: mary@bluebellorganicfarm.com

Alder Cottage

 

National Heritage Week August 23rd-31st

See list of events www.heritageweek.ie

 

 

Social Farming Across Borders Newsletter

Click on link below.

Newsletter

Organic Payment Rates Increase Under New Rural Development Programme

Click on link below

http://www.agriland.ie/news/organic-rdp-allocation-increased-e44m/

LEGOCIE Media Day 30th June

Please click on link below

GRUNDTVIG LEGOCIE PROJECT COMES TO AN END IN ATHENS

 

Organic Demonstration Farm Walks 2014 – 2015

Click on link below

Organic Demo Farm Walks 2014-2015

Irish Moiled Cattle ‘School of Showing Open Day

Lough Bishop House, Derrynagarra, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.
Saturday 5th July 2014

All roads lead to Christopher and Helen Kellys farm at Lough Bishop House, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, home of Derrynagarra Irish Moiled Cattle on Saturday 5th July for the annual Irish Moiled Cattle Society Open Day.

Not only will you have the chance to see Irish Moiled Cattle, a native Irish rarebreed, but this year’s event will be  a Masterclass in showing Moilies.  A packed day is organised with the help of Alison Connolly and Maggie McQuiston sharing their knowledge of the show ring.  Workshops will include: Halter Breaking, Show Preparation and how to lead and show off your animal.

There will also be workshops covering Stock Judging and Classification  with the chance to judge four different groups of Irish Moiled Cattle.

A BBQ with Moilie Burgers will round up proceedings.

Please book your place by contacting:

Breed Secretary Gillian Steele,00 44 7842 185008, secretary@irishmoiledcattlesociety.com or book online at www.irishmoiledcattlesociety.com.

Tickets €10

Wild and Free at the The Organic Centre Garden Party

Sunday 13th July from 11am -5pm

Click on below link for further details

Press release OC Garden Party 2014

National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) Training Programme 2014

Summer Courses outlined below for NOTS

Click on link below

Summer 2014 course listing

Taste of Success

RTÉ and Lidl Ireland

Turn your Food Passion into a €100,000 Prize!

Click on link below for more details:

Taste of Success Programme Information May 26

Re-opening of Capital Grant Scheme for Organic Sector

The Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine have now re-opened the Capital Grant Scheme for the organic sector for both on-farm and off-farm investments.

Full details of the scheme which runs from May 15th 2014 to October 31st 2014 are available on the Organic Trust Website (under New Schemes for Grant Aid 2014 on first page of Organic Trust website) or by clicking on the following link:

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/organicfarming/
organicsscheme/2014schemeofgrantaidforthedevelopmentof
theorganicsector/#d.en.75841

A number of changes to the rules of the 2014 scheme have been included and full details are outlined on the terms and conditions document which you can reference via the above link.

The new scheme is available for the 2014 operational year only with an October 31st 2014 closing date as indicated above.

The Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine have indicated that proposals are underway to introduce completely new capital grant scheme in 2015 for both on-farm and off-farm investment projects.

COVENEY ANNOUNCES FURTHER DETAILS ON €4 BILLION RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, 2014-2020

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced full financial allocations as well as important new details in relation to the support measures to be included in the new Rural Development Programme (RDP), 2014-2020.  Work is ongoing in relation to the design of the RDP and it is intended to submit the Programme to the EU Commission at the end of June, 2014.

Click on link below for further details

COVENEY ANNOUNCES FURTHER DETAILS ON €4 BILLION RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, 2014-2020

Social Farming Newsletter

Click on link below

social farming

***IRELAND’S FIRST FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ASSEMBLY***

Castlebar, 16th May 2014 at 7.30pm

Click on link below for further details

Food Sovereignty

Fracking Free Ireland

Take action here http://www.foe.ie/takeaction/fracking-free-election-campaign/

Food Sovereignty Assembly, Castlebar, 16th May

Venue: TF Royal Hotel, 19:30

Food Sovereignty is a process which starts from the ground up – from where farmers and food producers are producing food to feed their communities. Join us for discussions on the Irish and International challenges of building a better food and agriculture system, with contributions from: • Paul Nicholson, EHNE Bizkaia (Basque Farmers Union) and member of Via Campesina, International Peasant Movement (www.viacampersina.org) • John Brennan (Leitrim Organic Farmers COOP) • Luis Jalandoni (Philippines peasant settlers and sugarcane workers) • Rose Kelly (AFRI) • United Farmers Association (Speaker TBC) We aim to have an inclusive discussion which will not be a simple one-way talk. We want to hear about how people are taking the initiative to build a better food and agricultural system across Ireland, and take the first steps towards building an Irish movement for Food Sovereignty. Join us in Castlebar on the 16th of May – Food Sovereignty in Ireland starts here. For more information please see the attached document. If you are planning to come, please let us know at admin@afri.ie. There is no registration fee for this event. Donations welcome on the day.

Report from Kilmallock Organic Sale – Saturday 29th March 2014

Click on link below kilmallock_cattle_mart_   Robins Glen is a family run farm business, promoting and selling Irish organic feed on line. 

Click on below link http://robinsglen.ie/

Recent documentary on Gas Shale Fracking

With Laurence Lee from Al Jazeera Television, John Brennan Manager of Leitrim Organic Farmers and Tommy Earley Chairman of Leitrim Organic Farmers on Tommy Earley’s Organic Farm, Mount Allen outside Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim Click on link below to view video http://youtu.be/0M_6QpfGdtY

Farm Open Days

Click on link below Spring Open days 2014 Social Farming Training Click on link below Social Farming Training Organic Calves Urgently Needed Under 8mth. old organic calves Top prices quoted Please contact Good Herdsmen on  052-74-45500/ 086-2535187   PROTOCOL FOR BOOKING STOCK INTO ORGANIC MARTS Operators must book in stock they wish to sell at organic marts with IOFGA at the latest 48 hours before the commencement of the mart by telephoning 090 64 33680 The following information is required to be given to IOFGA at the time of booking in:  Name of licence holder  Address  Telephone number  Certification body (IOFGA/OT)  Licence number  Date symbol or conversion status awarded  Full tag numbers of cattle  Dates of birth of animals  Sex of animals  Origin of stock – born on own holding or bought in and if bought in original owners name and licence number  Breed  If stock are weaned, dehorned and castrated  Any veterinary medicines and dates administered  Do stock have a negative BVD result and supporting documentation Items which must accompany stock to the mart:  Current organic licence for each animal or group of animals for sale  Completed and signed sales declaration sheet for each animal or group of animals for sale  Completed and signed sales declaration sheet and licence/cert from all previous owners in the case of bought in animals.  BVD negative status and supporting documents Failure to pre book stock with IOFGA or to bring the documents listed above may result in stock not being permitted for sale   Social Farming Across Borders Newsletter Click on link below Social farming

CAP update Work underway to secure positive outcome for organics under new CAP

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine recently released their consultation paper for the RDP 2014-2020, which provides a broad outline of how they plan to operate Pillar 2 of the latest CAP (consultation paper here… ) Although details are somewhat sketchy, it appears that DAFM intends to integrate the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) into the new GLAS scheme as a ‘priority environmental measure’. While improved integration of organics with environmental schemes is something to be welcomed, Organic Trust believes that organic farming needs to rewarded in its own right as something which goes far above and beyond the measures of a REPS style scheme. To this end, we will be making strong representations to DAFM over the coming months and working hard to ensure a positive outcome for organic farmers under the new CAP regime. In the past, Organic Trust put in a huge effort lobbying to have organics recognised as a stand-alone scheme. To re-integrate the OFS with GLAS/REPS would, we believe, be a retrograde step for organic production in Ireland. We will keep members posted on progress in future newsletters. You can also have your voice heard on this and other issues arising in the draft Rural Development Plan by making a submission to DAFM. Details on the consultation process can be found here…     TRADEIT Click on link below TRADEIT SME Suport Offer OLMC – Organic Livestock Trends The volume of finished cattle coming onto the market between September and December last year caught everyone by surprise. We have gone through 2012 and the spring of 2013 with appalling weather conditions that led to finished cattle being in very short supply. Cattle grazed during the summer of 2012 produced very slow growth rates and during the winter of 2012/2013 feed stock were at an all time low. Conversely, the summer of 2013 was the complete opposite, with a long hot grazing season with adequate grass to maximise growth rates. This caused a surge of cattle ready to be marketed in the autumn. Inevitably, this made finished cattle difficult to sell and we saw a price drop from £5.20p (€6.31) per kg/dw in the summer to £4.33p (€5.25) per kg/dw in November.   This has meant that finished cattle volumes have been choked by the poor abattoir demand at a time when traditionally more beef has been required. While the January situation is a little better, prices are still lower than last summer and the sales of both organic and conventional beef is still very slow. Equally, the mild winter weather has done little to spark the organic OTM trade into action. Processors were very quiet in requiring lower volumes of OTM beef coming up to Christmas, which again is a traditional time for better trading. Going forward we suspect that the backlog of cattle will come to a conclusion and our view is that by the end of February abattoirs and processors will be looking for cattle as numbers dry up. This will also mean that the demand for store cattle, which currently has been slower due to buyers not having space available, will increase and with the seasonal effect of the spring we are likely to see a good demand for organic stores. For advice on buying and selling organic stores please ring Peter Jones on 01829 730580 or his mobile 07720 892922. For all finished stock ring Tim Leigh on 01763 250313 or his mobile 07850 366404. IFOAM EU Newsletter  see link below IFOAMEU_Comm_Newsletter_ Social Farming Across Borders Conference Please find below a link to the website page which now contains the full conference proceedings from  Summer 2013 Conference titled ‘Living an Ordinary Life’ held in Carrick on Shannon. http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org/conference-1   EU 2030 Climate Plan Disregards Science Ireland must fight for stronger renewables target Dublin, January 22 – EU plans to tackle climate change by the year 2030, announced in Brussels today, have been heavily criticized by environment group Friends of the Earth.   The policies proposed by the European Commission disregard climate science, which makes clear the need to urgently and drastically cut emissions to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming. In the plans the EU would commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and would not set binding national targets for increasing renewable energies or for reducing energy use. Kate Ruddock, policy and campaigns manager for Friends of the Earth Ireland said: “This proposal is totally inadequate compared to what the science tells us we have to do in Europe to avoid climate catastrophe. It only gives us a 50/50 chance of staying under 2oC of warming, plainly ignoring citizens’ interests and welfare. What would people say if Airbus or Boeing knowingly designed a plane with a 50/50 chance of crashing and killing its passengers? How are senior policy-makers able to shirk responsibility on an issue as serious as climate risk?” EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso has previously declared that the EU has “set in stone a commitment to cap the temperature increase at 2°C”. [1] Today’s announcement proposing 40% emissions reductions does not honour this commitment. Data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency and the European Commission show a 40% emissions reduction target for 2030 in fact means a 50/50 chance of exceeding the 2°C threshold [2]. The decision to go for a 40% emissions reduction target also ignores key findings from the European Commission’s own research which show higher targets will bring savings on health costs, reduce dependency on energy imports and not significantly affect GDP. [3] Ireland must fight for stronger renewables targetThe announcement not to set binding national targets for renewable energy or for reducing energy use is yet another cave-in to the fossil fuel lobby which undermines attempts to reduce the use of the most climate damaging fuels. “Ireland must continue to push for a stronger renewable energy target. It is not only in our national economic interest to do so, but also it is the best contribution Ireland can make to reducing carbon emissions. We currently spend €6.5 billon importing oil and gas. Pursuing renewable energy and energy savings will bring real benefits to the Irish economy” Kate Ruddock continued. Friends of the Earth believes three binding targets is the only way to ensure Europe effectively fulfills its responsibilities for tackling climate change. Emissions must be reduced by at least 60% by 2030 to be in line with science, and there must be binding targets to reduce energy use by 50% and increase the share of renewables to 45%. Only action on this scale will encourage the needed investment in clean energy resources to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and bring maximum benefits to the EU and its citizens. And in another energy and climate-related announcement the European Commission published a weak framework on how to regulate shale gas which fails to protect Europe’s citizens and the climate against the risks of fracking. Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 New reps scheme and other schemes outlined  Click on below link http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/press/ pressreleases/2014/DraftConsultation%20DocRDP14%20Jan.pdf Leitrim County Councillors Vote to Ban Fracking LEITRIM COUNTY COUNCILLORS yesterday voted to ban fracking in the county, despite a warning from the county manager that they could be held financially responsible for future costs incurred as a result. This means a section will now be inserted into the county’s development plan with a commitment to refuse permission to plans which involve the use of the controversial drilling method. The motion passed with 17 votes in favour while Fine Gael councillor Gerry Reynolds voted against it and four of his party colleagues abstained. Speaking to TheJournal.ie today Fine Gael councillor John McTernan, who voted in favour of the motion, said it was “basically a waste of time”. “What we were putting in meant basically nothing – it was more of a protest than anything,” he said. Any applications for planning will still have to go through the same processes so this does not mean that there is actually a ban on fracking in Leitrim, it merely means that councillors’ opposition to it has been registered in the development plan. “There are definitely questions that have to be answered about it,” McTernan commented. Volunteer Website for Leitrim Leitrim Development Company is pleased to announce www.volunteerinleitrim.ie a dedicated volunteer website for County Leitrim.   Leitrim Development Company developed and funded this website ‘Volunteer in Leitrim’ in response to a lack of co-ordination of volunteering opportunities in County Leitrim. The website is now live and we welcome everyone to use this free online tool if you are a group/organisation looking for volunteers or if you wish to volunteer your time.   The website will be officially launched by Leitrim Development Company on Wednesday 18th December at 8:00pm in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon. Please see attached invitation. A demonstration will take place on the night to show people how to use the website. Personnel will also be available from 7:00pm to help people to register their information. Looking forward to seeing you all there and celebrating the launch of www.volunteerinleitrim.ie.   For more information you can contact Karen or Ashling on 071-9641770 or email info@volunteerinleitrim.ie. Please help us in spreading the word about www.volunteerinleitrim.ie.   This project received grant aid from the Leitrim Development Company Rural Development Programme which is financed by the Irish Government under the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2007-2013 and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas.