New, free advice service for farmers considering going organic

A new advice service is available to provide guidance for farmers considering organic conversion or already running an organic system.

The service aims to provide farmers with technical and management advice and help them work out whether organic is right for them.

Called the Organic Advice, Support and Information Service (OASIS), it has been developed by independent farm consultancy Abacus Agriculture and the UK organic certification control body, OF&G (Organic Farmers and Growers).

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Ian Knight, director at Abacus Agriculture, says a key objective of OASIS is to encourage farmers to carefully consider organic as a viable and sustainable option for future prosperity.

“It’s about making the conversion process a success and reducing commercial risk.

“Many producers and growers we speak to question whether organic is right for their business and want to know more about what it takes to successfully convert. We’ve created OASIS to help answer some of these fundamental questions, allowing farmers to assess whether the changes required to become certified organic could suit their farm.”

Steven Jacobs, business development manager at OF&G, says that while conversion takes times and commitment, he believes there is a good opportunity for farmers as the UK organic market has grown at around 5% year-on-year for the past eight years.

Finding out more on organic systems/conversion

OASIS has a helpline to a team of advisors that farmers can call on 0844 800 0091 (charged at local call rate).

And the OASIS website contains information on:

  • Working out whether organic is for you
  • Schemes and grants for organic farmers
  • Guidance on making the conversion to organic
  • Prices and trends for organic produce
  • Technical advice.
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