30 November 2001
Organic certification fees slashed

By Adrienne Francis

POTENTIAL organic farmers seeking certification are being offered the service half-price in recognition of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The UKs largest organic licensing body, Soil Association Certification Limited, has slashed its application fees to 195, regardless of farm size.

It aims to help reduce the cashflow burden on businesses waiting for foot-and-mouth compensation, or for the Organic Farming Scheme payments.

The reduced certification price will be available to producers who apply before 31 January, 2002.

The move follows a stakeholder meeting at the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs to discuss an Organic action plan.

Countryside Minister Elliot Morley had talks with organic representatives to discuss the launch of this plan next year, on Monday (26 November).

“We want to look at how the organic sector can consolidate the gains that have already been made and match our European counterparts,” he said.

Work will begin after governments policy commission on the future of food and farming reports back to ministers.