Proposals to boost the organic sector in Scotland have been published by the Scottish Government.
The Organic Action Plan sets out how government and industry can work together to develop policies that will support the sustainable growth of the sector, which is worth £55m a year.
In particular, it promises continuing financial support for organic conversion and maintenance under the Scottish Rural Development Programme; other support to develop the sector, including information about the organic supply chain and knowledge transfer through the Scottish Agricultural College; and consumer information on organic food and farming.
It also says the benefits of organic farming will be “more fully reflected across Scottish government policies, particularly regarding sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, soils, animal welfare and rural development”.
“It is crucial organic businesses enjoy sustainable economic growth. To achieve this, buyers have to know the benefits of organic goods and be appraised of the innovation, expertise and developments in the sector,” said Richard Lochhead, secretary for rural affairs.
Scottish organics (2009-10)
• More than 600 organic producers and 200 processors
• 221,000ha of land under organic management (nearly 30% of the total organic land in the UK)
• 7400 finished organic beef cattle
• 96,000 prime organic lambs
• 27,000t of cereals, beans and peas
• 27m litres of organic milk
• 5000t of organic salmon