23 March 2000
Organic prices soar in UK shortage

FARMGATE prices for organic produce have leapt to three times those for conventional products as British supply fails to keep pace with demand.

Retail sales are rising at about 40% a year, and are expected to reach 764 million in 2000/01, says the Soil Association, which promotes organic farming methods.

Health scares over BSE and genetically modified crops have made more consumers turn to organic crops, reports the Financial Times.

Domestic prices for organically grown feed wheat are 190/t, compared with 70/t for the non-organic equivalent. Milling oats are priced at 190/t against 75.

The shortfall in UK production is being met increasingly by imports, with about 70% of the total demand for organic cereals being imported.