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Letter: Home grown?

Sir: While at first sight, the prediction that sales of organic food will triple in the next four years is good news (report, 7 November), this increase will come almost entirely from imports of organic produce. Currently, 80 per cent of organic food sold here is imported, with simple items such as carrots and onions coming from far away, even though we are capable of growing these ourselves. It is sometimes hard to convince a consumer that an imported organic cauliflower at twice the price is better than a chemically produced one grown only miles away.

The amount of land under organic production in this country has remained static at less than 1 per cent for more than a decade. While there may be some significant increase in the near future, it will not in any way be sufficient to offset the huge demand to import even more organic produce. As a national pressure group, the Soil Association has repeatedly failed to come up with any solution. It is time we took this issue, including the setting of organic standards, away from such voluntary groups and determine as a nation how we are to meet these demands for organic produce.


Shipley, West Yorkshire