3 March 2000
Waitrose cash for organic study

By FWi staff

WAITROSE is to finance three student bursaries as part of a move by the retailer to show its commitment to the organic sector.

The store, which expects 20% of fresh produce to be organic by the end of 2000, wants to encourage organic conversion in the UK.

Waitrose has announced it will fund one student a year for the next three years to look at all aspects of the organic supply chain.

Students will work with the Henry Doubleday Research Association.

A series of “producer days” for producers who want to switch from conventional farming to an organic system, has also been announced by Waitrose.

The days will give farmers a chance to meet buyers and industry experts face-to-face. The first five of the days will take place in September.

The announcement coincides with the second reading of the Organic Food and Farming Bill presented by Paul Tyler MP on Friday (3 March).

The aim of the Bill is to persuade the UK Government to adopt a strategy and targets to greatly increase the size of the organic sector in the next 10 years.

The targets are 30% of UK farmland to be organic or in conversion by 2010 and 20% of the food consumed to be organic by 2010.