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Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G), in partnership with organizations across the organic sector, is urging the UK Government to recognize the opportunities organic can offer to deliver a green Brexit.

As part of its response to the Defra consultation on the future of UK food and farming outside the European Union, a letter was sent to Michael Gove last month – signed by OF&G and members of the English Organic Forum – explaining that organic production offers huge potential to help the Government deliver its ambitions of a green Brexit and calling for organic production to represent at least 10% of UK food and farming.

OF&G and the other members of the English Organic Forum are surprised that organic wasn’t more widely identified in the consultation documents. We would like to have seen organic farming, with all the benefits it offers, as part of the consultation proposals on food and farming policy

“From a farming systems point of view, organic systems provide a range of environmental and social public goods and the potential to rebuild natural capital,” the letter says. “Although we recognize that it is not for every farmer, nor for every consumer, we are looking for a supportive approach from Government in delivering a market-focused farming system that delivers multiple public goods simultaneously.”

Roger Kerr

Commenting on the Defra consultation, OF&G CEO Roger Kerr (pictured right), says: “OF&G and the other members of the English Organic Forum are surprised that organic wasn’t more widely identified in the consultation documents. We would like to have seen organic farming, with all the benefits it offers, as part of the consultation proposals on food and farming policy.”

“Organic production is backed up by a legal regulation with annual inspections, certification and verification,” he adds. “With this robust approach, Defra can have confidence in organic food and farming delivering economic and public goods for all.”

As a country we need to produce safe food, but it’s important that we also ensure the protection of natural capital. I believe that organic farming offers these benefits, and it’s these farmers who need to be properly rewarded for the protection of our landscape and food production

John Pawsey

In one of a series of interviews OF&G is running with leading figures in food and farming in light of the consultation, prominent organic farmer John Pawsey (pictured left) comments: “As a country we need to produce safe food, but it’s important that we also ensure the protection of natural capital. I believe that organic farming offers these benefits, and it’s these farmers who need to be properly rewarded for the protection of our landscape and food production.”

Asked what his vision for food and farming was for the next 20 years, he added: “In 20 years time I want to see a future with improved soil health, increased numbers of farmland birds and the protection of our natural landscape. My vision would be that farmers who produce safe, affordable and nutritious food are properly rewarded so that we can compete with imports post-Brexit. This would also enable us to have higher animal welfare standards and a sustainable farming system.”

 

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About the Author

Jane Wolfe

Deputy Editor
Natural Products News deputy editor Jane Wolfe re-joined NPN in 2013 having previously worked for the magazine as a sub and freelance journalist from its Steyning beginnings.

Articles by Jane Wolfe
Jane Wolfe
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