A report released on Wednesday by the organic food industry’s trade body says that despite increasing consumer interest and a recent increase in awareness of the benefits of organic foods, there is a serious lack of information about the risks.
The report from the Independent Organic Food Council of Ireland (IOCFI) said that organic food was not a ‘gateway’ to conventional food, but was the best way to ensure quality, safety and quality control.
Organic food industry body, Organic Ireland said the report highlighted the need for more education, education for consumers and information for regulators.
It also recommended that the Government introduce new legislation to require certification by an organic certifying body.
However, IOCFI president and CEO, Joanne Breslin, said that while the report highlights a need for greater awareness of organic food products, it is not the only issue.
Ms Breslyn said that consumers are not fully aware of the risks of eating organic, including the dangers of lead, mercury, arsenic, antibiotics and other toxins.
“We have heard from consumers that they are scared of what is in organic food and that they don’t know where to go to learn about it,” she said.
“This report is just one small example of the many challenges that we face as a food and drink industry.”
The report says that consumers often assume organic food comes from organic farmers, but it is important to know the difference between organic and conventional.
“It’s important that consumers know where the organic products come from and that there is no difference between conventional and organic farming practices,” Ms Bresyn said.
The research found that the majority of organic organic food in Ireland was purchased from suppliers who are not certified by the Organic Food Institute of Ireland, the Irish Organic Farming Association and other certification bodies.
There is a need to address these barriers, she said, by ensuring that consumers can learn more about the different certifying bodies.
“The fact is that organic is a new food category, which has been around for a long time and that is why there is such confusion around the different kinds of certification,” Ms Lydon said.
There has been a shift in the way people view organic food since the introduction of the organic label, she added.
“People are now more likely to think of organic as a healthy way to eat, but also they are concerned that organic might be tainted, contaminated or have other problems, which they would not have considered before.”
I think this is something that is going to continue to be an issue in the future as the industry expands.
“Read more: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/joanne-breslin/organic-landing-on-ground-to-improve-organic-food-a27893170.html#ixzz4zpG8xKV2″This is a big issue,” Ms Dolan said.
She said that when consumers are told the difference is between organic food or conventional food and they are asked to choose one, they are often unsure of the impact of their choice.”
Consumers don’t always know the real reasons behind the choices they make.
I think that’s why we need to be more transparent about our food supply chains and what we are purchasing.”IOC FI President and CEO Joanne Lydons comments on the reportThe Independent Organic Foods Council of Australia (IOMCA) is a trade organisation that represents organic food producers, processors, retailers, retailers of food, and consumers.
It is a registered trade association that represents farmers and organic food manufacturers.
IOMCA president and chief executive, John Dolan, said the industry is facing an enormous challenge.”
In the last two years, we have seen a huge increase in the number of consumers seeking to learn more, with more than 1.6 million consumers having visited its website and more than 6,000 retailers reporting an increase in organic sales in the last quarter of this year,” Mr Dolan told the IOM.”
However, a lack and confusion around certification is a real barrier to getting the best possible food for our customers.
“As an industry, we need a comprehensive and effective approach to the issue, which will not only help the organic industry but also help our customers and retailers in the long run.”
Certification plays a vital role in the supply chain for many of the ingredients in organic foods and in the quality of our supply chains.
The IOM has set a high bar for this industry and will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the certification process, which is a key part of our overall strategy to make organic food as affordable as possible.
“Read the full report at www.IOM.ie