Source: Organic Research Centre
Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food in the UK, has given a message of support to the 2012 Organic Producers’ Conference in Birmingham on 18 and 19 January 2012. He has recognised that the conference, now firmly established in the organic conference calendar and attracting more than 200 participants, provides an invaluable opportunity for organic producers, technical experts and others to share their knowledge and expertise for the good of the organic sector and sustainable farming in general. He has described the event as an excellent example of the organic industry working together to set a benchmark for others.
"I have often said that organic farming is one of the pioneers of sustainable farming methods. It offers important lessons that can be taken up by the wider UK agricultural sector, as we strive to increase production but to do so sustainably. Organic production also gives consumers the choice of certified organic products that include the assurance of recognised animal welfare. These are some of the reasons why I am pleased that the role of organic farming continues to be supported in the European Commission’s proposals on CAP reform. Discussions are still at an early stage, but I can assure you my intention is to press for the best deal possible for UK farmers, including organic farmers,” the minister has stated.
The debate on CAP reform, and in particular the high profile given to organic farming in the proposals to ‘green’ agricultural support payments, was the main focus of the opening plenary at the conference. During the conference, speakers highlight the current wide variations in support for organic farming across Europe, with the UK close to the bottom of the league, and call for CAP Reform to provide a more consistent basis for organic policy support across Europe so as to not disrupt markets while still obtaining the environmental and other benefits expected by society, the Organic Research Centre reports. The conference also focuses on agro-ecological approaches to improving the environmental, technical and financial performance of organic production systems and food supply chains. Topics include - among others - arable agro-forestry systems, non-inversion tillage for organic farming, carbon footprints of extensive livestock production, and supply chain sustainability.
Organic Research Centre