Farmers give up on organic despite increasing demand


A study has found that British farmers are shunning organic food production despite higher demand for it. According to the European Environment Agency, the amount of land in organic production is rising in most European countries but falling in Britain, where it declined by 4% to 551,000 hectares between 2012 and 2013 and has dropped by almost a fifth since 2010. By contrast, the organic share of farming rose in 27 out of 30 European countries between 2006 and 2012. Just 3.3% of land is farmed organically in Britain, compared with 18.5% in Austria, 15.8% in Sweden and 8.9% in Italy. But Tim Bevan, farm business adviser at the Soil Association, said that more generous subsidies available from this year should help to reverse the decline. Sales of organic products in Britain rose 4% last year to £1.86bn, according to a study by the Soil Association.


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