Organic farming trend continues a steady march across Europe
Published: November 29, 2023
Category: Organic News
As consumers prioritize sustainably grown food, EU growers are realizing additional benefits from organic farming: greater profits and a potential shield against climate change impacts.
Growing numbers of German dairy farmers are switching from conventional to organic milk production to align with sustainability boons. Some are even feeding cows with high-quality, barn-dried hay as the sole source of winter forage.
Rüdiger Pöhl tends 70 Fleckvieh cows in northeastern Germany; he grows organic hemp and sunflower seed and organic barley in addition to grass and hay. The cows are zero-grazed through spring and summer. Local processors pay a bonus for the organic standard and home-grown hay for winter feed.
Ireland, a fairly small organic player, aims to grow more organic crops to feed its organic beef and sheep industries. Organic tillage advisor Martin Bourke noted that “Ireland… is only at about 2%. But a national target has been set to get this figure up to 7.5% by 2027.” The number of organic cereal growers has grown by 25 or 30 since 2019.
In England, Scotland, and Wales, organic conversion grew 34% in 2021 (versus 2020). The government has pledged to double the rates for farmers transitioning, increasing payments between 50% to 500%. Strong supply chains are needed to support domestic organic production.
Northern Ireland is slow to adapt to organic, and farmers will need assurance of higher market returns.
Source: Farming Life
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights December 2023