Organic farm growing leeks© Tim Scrivener

A new support team has been established to provide advice and help to organic farmers in Wales.

The new initiative from certification body Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G) offers exclusive support to its farmer licensees from a team of Welsh-speaking inspectors.

See also: Care urged over Welsh CAP claims

As well as Welsh-speaking inspectors and certification officers, OF&G Cymru also offers licensee application forms and conversion plans written in both English and Welsh.

Marilyn James, who is helping with the launch of OF&G Cymru, said the initiative would help the region’s booming organic sector.

The latest Defra figures showed a 25% increase in the amount of Welsh farmland going into organic conversion, making OF&G’s support in Wales more important than ever, she said.

“OF&G has always been committed to the development of the organic sector and providing the highest-quality inspection and certification services,” said Ms James.

“Wales’ organic sector is looking very positive, and having OF&G Cymru there to support growers and producers as they grow or convert their businesses will be a huge help.”

“This is creating more opportunities for organic farmers and growers in Wales and across the UK. We want to help them grasp those opportunities wherever we can.”
Roger Kerr, OF&G chief executive

OF&G chief executive Roger Kerr said rising consumer interest in organic food and sustainable production meant the time was right for producers thinking about making the move to organic.

“Demand for organic food in the UK is increasing, while agro-ecology is becoming an ever-important issue across Europe,” he said.

“This is creating more opportunities for organic farmers and growers in Wales and across the UK. We want to help them grasp those opportunities wherever we can.”

Organic farmers have been told to send their organic certificate and schedule to the Welsh government by the end of April to receive their Glastir Organic payment.

Farmers who submit documents after 30 April will have their 2015 Glastir Organic Contract withdrawn.

Producers are also reminded to claim Glastir Organic on their 2015 single application form.