Supporting organic producers through present and new challenges

30 December 2022

Andrew Burgess

Andrew Burgess

NFU Organics Forum chair

An image of Andrew Burgess smiling at the camera

In his New Year message, NFU Organic Forum chair Andrew Burgess looks at the areas of focus for 2023 and ensuring that future farming schemes deliver for organic producers.

Many of the issues and challenges facing the NFU Organic Forum are similar to our conventional farming colleagues, sometimes with a different level of urgency or priority.

This year we will be supporting organic producers through the economic downturn.

The marketplace is difficult at the moment – organic is a premium product and we are being squeezed along with everyone else.

Making schemes that are fit for purpose

"Organic is a premium product and we are being squeezed along with everyone else"

NFU Organic Forum chair Andrew Burgess

To ensure that future farming schemes are fit for purpose the forum will review standards to ensure that they work for organic farmers.

We will lobby Defra to understand what a new organic farming scheme will look like and help develop it.

Forum Vice-Chair Mark Wycherley has been working hard with the NFU’s ELMs (Environmental Land Management scheme) working group to give an organic perspective.

He is also trialling SFI on his organic farm in Shropshire. Defra will be reviewing domestic organic regulations and looking at organic regulation from around the world.

Focuses for the coming year

We will review the current legislation and formulate key asks around future organic regulation.

The forum will also identify potential policy asks that are beneficial for organic farmers and the wider net zero ambitions.

We will engage with industry to understand the potential opportunities for organic exports and to ensure these opportunities are recognised by government and the wider NFU. This also links in with UK organic policy, as it is critical that new UK regulations support equivalence for trade with the EU. We import and export organic products primarily with the EU, and this allows us to balance supply and demand across a season.

With pressures on input prices and availability there has been an increased interest in regenerative farming techniques, and the forum is keen to share its extensive knowledge and expertise of organic practices with the wider farming community

Your President's New Year message

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