16th February 2023
A total of 20 countries have now reached 10% or more of all agricultural land under organic management. OF&G believe this shows that a significant number of countries now recognise the environmental and economic benefits that organic production delivers.
“There is clear evidence throughout the World Organic Yearbook of the substantial opportunity that organic represents,” says OF&G chief executive, Roger Kerr. “While organically farmed land in the UK remains ahead of the global average at 2.8%, we lack the ambitions of many of our European neighbours.”
As seen at Biofach 2023, the global organic trade fair which hosted the launch of the latest report, support for organic on the European mainland is seen at the most senior government level. The German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, described organic as ‘the decisive response to the climate and biodiversity crises and those with a different view should go to the opticians.’
OF&G say Mr Özdemir’s comments also reflect on the increasing concern around the broader potential greenwashing in agriculture. They warn against the misuse of claims around the term ‘regenerative’ when compared with the clear legally defined and internationally recognised organic standards.
“There is a lot of noise around regenerative, but defining it is a little like trying to nail jelly to the wall. To be clear, all regenerative aspirations are already firmly embedded in international organic principles. Organic is and has been doing the right thing for decades and the latest global data corroborates this position,” says Mr Kerr.
When looking to the future, OF&G believe the UK must stop ‘treading water’ and commit to greater public support for organic considering what’s happening around the world.