Organic beef, lamb and grain production in Scotland is set to rise again in 2007 following a buoyant year in the Scottish organic sector.

According to a survey of Scottish farmers as part of the SAC’s Organic Market Link project, farmers will produce about 5,900 head of finished organic cattle between July 2006 and June 2997, an increase of 21% on the year.

Farmers will also produce 90,400 prime organic lambs and 21,000 tonnes of organic grains and pulses, an increase of 8% and 22% respectively.

The survey of 87% of Scotland‘s organic farmers also found stock numbers had increased slightly, with 3,500 store cattle and weaned calves and 25,400 store lambs.

Caroline Bayliss, SAC Organic Market Link coordinator, said the results were pleasing, but there was still work to be done to satisfy market requirements.

A “slight shift” in the seasonal production of lamb to fill periods of supply shortage was a positive move, she added.

Almost 70% of producers said they intended to produce similar numbers of finished organic beef cattle in future or increase production marginally and a further 12% plan to increase numbers significantly.

·        Multiple retailers have reported significant growth in organic beef sales.

Sales of organic red meat increased by 12% to the year ending 5 November 2006 according to recent Meat and Livestock Commission figures. Conventional red meat saw a growth of just 1% in the same period.

Organic beef sales in particular showed strong growth, rising by over 20%