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UK confirms support for organic, new farmers should apply for support

Staff Writer |
Farming minister George Eustice has confirmed that support for organic agriculture will continue into 2018.

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At a meeting with members of the English Organic Forum, made up of certifiers and trade groups, Eustice confirmed that existing organic farmers and growers who’s Organic Entry Level schemes are coming to an end.[break]

New farmers who want to convert to organic, will be able to apply for support under the Countryside Stewardship scheme for the next two years.

The Farming Minister confirmed that the application process for farmers will open later in 2017 and again in 2018. These agreements last for 5 years, and the Forum said the confirmation provides some welcome stability in the face of major risks and uncertainties faced by farmers as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

The Soil Association Policy Director noted that the US has the largest organic market in the world with 43% of global sales. This market grew by 11% in 2015 – far exceeding the 3% growth rate of the US non-organic food market.

The U.S. organic market has enjoyed years of steady growth largely unaffected by the recession, up from $17 million in 2006 to over $40 billion today.

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