No more organic cash – for now

1 October 2001

No more organic cash – for now

By Isabel Davies in Brighton

RURAL Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett appears to have ruled out additional funding for organic farmers – at least for the time being

Addressing a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Mrs Beckett resisted promising more money to the organic sector.

The meeting, on Monday (1 October), was arranged by an environmental group which wants 30% of agricultural land farmed organically by 2020.

Mrs Beckett is herself a member of the group, the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA).

It describes itself as an independent environment group affiliated to the Labour Party.

Mrs Beckett said it was right that the government looked at organic farming to see whether money should be redirected away from existing production subsidies.

But she was adamant that the future of organic farming had to be looked at carefully to make sure that a balanced agricultural sector was maintained.

Mrs Beckett said she wouldnt advocate putting money into organic farming if it encouraged surpluses similar to those in the conventional sector.

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