14 May 1999
New label for ‘almost organic’

by FWi staff

EAST Anglia farmers in the midst of organic conversion have been offered a new independent labelling system to help them obtain higher prices for their produce.

East Anglia Food Link was set up a few years ago with the help of European Union, MAFF and local authority funds to support organic conversion and expansion.

It introduced the new labelling system because the MAFF organic scheme does not fully compensate for loss of income during period before farmers become fully organic.

The system is also an attempt to encourage the development of regional markets for organic produce, said Clive Peckham, spokesman East Anglia Food Link.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the organic aid scheme payments are not adequate to compensate for loss of income during the conversion period, he added.

The new labelling system is only open to members of the Food Link organisation in East Anglia.

Mr Peckham said it should help farmers obtain better prices for produce grown to organic standards even though it does not yet qualify for Soil Association approval.