Organic opportunity?

The growth in demand for UK organic beef could provide opportunities for domestic beef producers says a new report, published by the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF).

Entitled 'The UK Market for Organic Beef', the report gives data on organic livestock numbers, beef production, consumption and imports, with forecasts to 2010. Sections on key costs and major issues for consumers are also included.

"We estimate there is scope for an additional 15-20,000 head of cattle per annum to supply the market by 2010," said Martin Grantley-Smith, RMIF's general manager. "However, producers need to be fully aware of the 'realities' of the limited overall size of the potential market and the higher costs of production than for conventional beef," he added.

Phil Stocker, head of food and farming for the Soil Association, said: "This publication gives an invaluable insight into the future of the market for organic beef. The findings are important for existing organic farmers and will also give guidance to many other farmers who may be looking at the options of becoming organic.

"There is no doubt that organic beef production is presenting opportunities for UK cattle producers."

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