Organic farming

Why has the government produced an action plan to boost organic farming? At the moment, the UK imports 75% of the organic food we consume. That means domestic production needs help so that British producers can benefit from a rapidly expanding market for organic food. Also, the purpose of the organic movement is not simply to make sure food is free of chemicals or GM ingredients, but to decrease the distance between the farm and the fork. That will not happen canada goose coat 1000 bulbs free while we keep eating organic beans from Kenya rather than Kent.

What does the government plan to do? There will be increased payments to organic farmers, a £5m five-year research fund, and an canada goose coat 1000 bulbs attempt to buying cheap canada goose outlet jacket online expand the UK market for organic food by encouraging public sector consumers like schools and hospitals to buy UK organic food. Supermarkets will also be brought in to make organic farming more secure and profitable for UK producers.

Why does the UK import so much of its coat organic food? Part of it is simple geography: Tesco will never be able to source a decent organic mango from Yorkshire. However the government’s action plan reckons 70% of organic demand in the UK could be met by domestic producers. They want to see that shift by 2010. The poor import figures mask the fact that some products are further behind than others: domestic production of organic eggs, dairy products and meat has pulled way ahead of fruit and vegetable crops.

How much of UK farming is organic now? In December authenitc canada goose outlet store in gta with discount price 2001, there were almost 4000 organic producers in the UK, working 3.9% of all available farmland. The demand for organic products has increased by between 30 and 50% every year in recent years, with sales of £802m for 2000-2001 and predicted sales of £950m for 2001-2002. The secretary of state for agriculture, Margaret Beckett, wants to see 10% of UK farmland under organic management.

What does ‘organic’ mean anyway? Anyone wanting to produce organic food – for example, livestock farmers, growers and processors – will have to conform to standards set down by the UK Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS). The body regulates 10 certification bodies which make sure farms and processors conform to at least minimum EU standards. Farms need to undergo a two-year conversion process before gaining the right to call their products organic. New government payments will help with that process.

Is organic food more expensive because benefits of canada goose jacket of the buy canada goose coat online risks involved to farmers? No, the canada goose coat 1000 calorie bariatric diet worst of the price hike often happens higher up the supply chain. Prices paid to organic producers have fallen in recent years. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recognises that a consumer could pay 30p more for a litre of organic milk when the producer, who took all the risk of making the product organic, cannot buy canada goose jacket uk command a 10p a litre premium.

That said, organic food generally does cost more to produce than conventionally farmed produce, and less food per hectare is produced on an organic farm. Organic farmers are also subject to a wider variety in yield and quality than conventional farmers. If you are not using chemicals to keep the wee beasties off your maize crop, you run greater risk of losing out come harvest time. buy canada goose jacket nyc

What’s causing organic farmers to lose money? A survey carried out by the National Farmers Union found that the percentage of organic farmers who are making a profit of over £10,000 has fallen from 56% in 1997 to 38% in 2002. The NFU cites cheap imports as the primary reason the sector is in “crisis”.

Supermarkets, keen to pay as little as possible for organic products, are driving down prices paid to farmers. Organic farmers also told the NFU that lack of marketing awareness held them back from getting the best price for their products.

Will government subsidies help? Boosting government payments to organic farmers will no doubt help more farmers make an expensive and risky switch. But some farmers fear subsidies may give supermarkets an excuse to continue squeezing farmers by driving down prices.

Do the supermarkets have plans to support British organic anyone has got canada goose coat farmers? All the major supermarkets have targets to buy more organic products from domestic producers. Waitrose aims to source 100% organic produce from the UK when in season and Sainsbury’s aims to reduce imports from 60% to 45%, and to use 100% British organic dairy and meat products, by 2004.

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