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Organic sector needs to rethink farmer engagement

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The organic sector needs to change the way it engages with farmers, consumers and policy makers, according to one of the sector’s leading lights.

Roger Kerr, chief executive of organic licensing body OF&G, said organic farming offered major opportunities to businesses post-Brexit, but that too many years of criticising other production systems meant the sector had not received the positive attention it deserved.

He made his comments at an OF&G Conference on 3 July, adding that while organic production could deliver environmental and public goods, which should put it “at the heart of the mix” of post-Brexit farming policy discussions, it wasn’t been perceived in this way by policy makers and the wider agricultural sector.

“Part of that is because organic has become a loaded word,” he said. “We need to change things. We need to start engaging, sharing, and change the record if organic is to be part of the UK’s domestic agricultural policy.

“We also need to talk about ecological innovation alongside technical innovation, which is an area we haven’t really started to mine as far as government is concerned. We need to place organic in the centre of that to help drive that innovation.”

Photo Credit: Organic Farmers & Growers

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