Wales’ growing organic sector is being given a boost thanks to a new initiative from certification body OF&G
Date Published: 10/04/2015
Launched this month, OF&G Cymru offers exclusive support to OF&G’s farmer licensees in Wales thanks to a team of dedicated staff who can help producers in the region.
As well as Welsh-speaking inspectors and Certification Officers, OF&G Cymru also offers licensee application forms and conversion plans written in both English and Welsh.
Marilyn James, one of the leading figures in organic certification in Wales over the last 20 years and who is helping with the development of OF&G Cymru, says the initiative will help the region’s booming organic sector.
Latest Defra figures show a 25% increase in the amount of Welsh farmland going into organic conversion, making OF&G’s support in Wales more important than ever.
“OF&G has always been committed to the development of the organic sector and providing the highest-quality inspection and certification services,” she says.
“Wales’ organic sector is looking very positive, and having OF&G Cymru there to support growers and producers as they grow or convert their businesses will be a huge help.”
Roger Kerr, OF&G chief executive, says increasing consumer interest in organic food and sustainable production means the time could be right for producers thinking about making the move to organic.
“Demand for organic food in the UK is increasing, while agro-ecology is becoming an ever-important issue across Europe,” he says. “This is creating more opportunities for organic farmers and growers in Wales and across the UK.
“We want to help them grasp those opportunities wherever we can, which is where initiatives like OF&G Cymru come in.
“Our dedicated staff in Wales and across the UK can provide the information and support farmers need to make the next step in their organic businesses.”
The launch of OF&G Cymru comes as Wales’ organic farmers were told they must send their organic certificate and schedule to the Welsh Government by the end of April in order to receive their Glastir Organic payment.
Farmers who send their documents after Thursday 30 April will have their 2015 Glastir Organic Contract withdrawn. Producers are also reminded to claim Glastir Organic on their 2015 SAF. For more information visit Rural Payment Wales.