The Organic Trade Board has hit back at provocative comments from the National Farmers Union that EU organic promotions are “a waste of resources”.
The comments appeared in a report in The Grocer (‘David Cameron warned EU membership crucial to trade’, February 22).
In the article the NFU is quoted as saying that the funding of organic promotions is “an example of where EU activity has not been helpful, and perhaps indicates a waste of resources”. It added: “There appears to be little rationale for the EU to become involved in organics particularly given there are not proven benefits over and above other farming systems.”
Similar comments were included in an NFU consultation document published in summer 2013.
In a letter to the food industry weekly, the OTB says it is “disappointed to see the NFU attacking the successful EU-funded promotion programmes for organic” and “surprised that the NFU appears to consider its organic farmers not worthy of support”.
The OTB says that its £3.2 million six-year ‘Organic. Naturally Different’ campaign – 50/50 funded by the EU and industry – has been successful in helping consumers understand the benefits of organic and driving sales through online ads with retailers. And it suggests that the NFU president – who recently called on the industry “to work together” – should “listen to his own advice and work with his organic members so they can benefit from the global growth in organic sales”.