Letter: Uphill fight for organic food

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The Independent Online
Sir: Recent research on the European market for organic meat and dairy products strongly supports Prince Charles's views on organic farming ("Charles: King of the Legumes", 20 September).

The UK has the lowest percentage of organic farmland in the EU and is being obstructed by the relatively small grants offered by the Government for farmers to switch to organic farming.

The reform of the common agricultural policy in 1992 provided incentive for farmers to convert to organic agriculture. Other EU members have all granted financial aid and research for the conversion. Austria has the largest amount of organic farmland in Europe - 12 per cent of all farmland. Germany and Denmark have 2 per cent. Britain has a mere 0.3 per cent.

Up to 70 per cent of all organic foods sold in the UK are imported. An increase in organic farming should not be seen as a threat to intensive farmers - both should co-exist, allowing the public to decide.


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