1 September 2000

New restrictions on non-organic feed

SOME organic producers must now reformulate rations to take account of rules introduced on Aug 24, which will further restrict the amount of non-organic feed they can use.

The standards, accepted by the UK certification body UKROFS, bring all EU certification organisations in line for the first time, with a view of reducing non-organic feed allowances to nothing by 2005.

While the change in regulations does not affect Soil Association members, it does represent a tightening of feeding allowances for Organic Farmers and Growers (OF & G) members.

For these producers, pig and poultry rations can now include a maximum non-organic feed level of 20% on a yearly dry matter basis, rather than the 30% allowed before.

Similarly, in dairy, beef and sheep sectors, OF & G members must reduce conventional feed to 10% of diets, rather than the current 20%, says certification officer Richard Jacobs. But it must be an approved non-organic feed, he adds.

One other change in feed regulations for organic producers is that there is now a cap on the maximum non-organic feed that can be fed on any one day; now 25% of the diet. &#42