26 October 2001

Organic strategy is promised but…

THE government has promised a strategy for the future of the organic sector. But it has shied away from meeting campaigners demands and committing itself to a targets bill.

DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett said the government would continue to encourage organic farming and would provide enough resources to triple the area converted by 2006. The government would look how the UK organic sector could match its European counterparts, she added.

But the Soil Association, which promotes organic farming, said the only way UK organic producers would match their European counterparts was if they received ongoing payments. A spokeswoman said: "If they are to fulfil that commitment they would have to pay organic stewardship." &#42