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Trevor Sargent, minister of state with responsibility for food and horticulture, told the party’s annual conference that a strategy would be published “within days”, reports the Irish Times.

“EU-wide, the demand for organic food is increasing,” said Mr Sargent. “However, 70% of organic food sold in Ireland has to be imported.”

He explained that the organic market was worth Euro 66m in 2006, and was predicted to hit Euro 400m by 2012.

Mr Sargent said he is working closely with Green Party leader John Gormley on the issue and acknowledged there have been “successes and frustrations” since the party entered government last year.

According to the Institute of Rural Sciences, based at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, global sales of organic food and drink reached £19.3bn in 2006 and Europe is the largest organic food market in the world.

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