4 September 1998

Organic rise predicted

THE number of organic farmers in the UK could rise from 1000 to 5000 by the year 2005, according to the Organic Farmers and Growers Organisation.

Chairman Charles Peers said the predicted rise, which would mean organic farming accounted for 5% of the UKs food production, was due to increased conversion payments and demand for organic produce.

All indications, he added, suggest the organic food sector in the UK was coming into its own. And if only a small proportion of farmers who had inquired about converting to organic status went ahead, it would still represent a major shift.

"Much of the new organic acreage is likely to come from conventional farmers assigning a proportion, but not all, of their farm to organic production," he said. &#42