17 May 2002

Spot the gaps in veg market

WITH 80% of the organic vegetables eaten in the UK imported, the opportunities to expand home production seem good.

But gluts at certain times of year make potential converters and existing growers wary of grasping them, says the Henry Doubleday Research Association.

To help paint a clearer picture of UK self-sufficiency for particular vegetables and identify gaps growers can fill, the HDRA is working with the Soil Association in a £17,500 DEFRA-funded project running until February 2003.

Collaborating with Elm Farm Research Centre and the Institute of Rural Studies, Aberystwyth, they are collecting data on cropping areas and volumes of produce marketed. Initial findings are expected this autumn. &#42