Organic agriculture sector calls for better industry data

12 August 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

The Government needs to do more to ensure that the organic agriculture sector in the UK is provided with timely and good quality data to inform business decisions.

This is the claim made by an industry body, which has suggested that the recent publication by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of details relating to 2010 has come too late.

Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) stated eight months is too long to wait for businesses and individuals who need such information in order to draw up plans and it has issued a call for better statistics.

It pointed out that data tends to be collected by organizations at the end of December to be submitted to DEFRA by the end of January,

"Successful businesses know the value of timely and accurate statistics to inform their planning and allow swift responses to market changes," noted Richard Jacobs, OF&G Chief Executive, adding that farmers and food processors need details of trends in order to prepare plans.

The UK organic production figures showed total organic land area declined by three per cent during 2010 compared with the previous year and there was a fall in organic pig and poultry numbers, while organic cattle and sheep statistics increased.

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