Organics issue is one of simple economics
Letter to the editor.
I seriously enjoyed reading what amounted to a squarely commonsensical analysis of the organic issue in last week's MTJ - 'The Trouble With Organic Farming'. I usually just flick through some of the longer pieces, but this item really got me thinking.
The issue simply boils-down to basic market economics. Irrespective of EU manipulation and market distortion, the fact is if people want organic at a price that farmers can produce at, they will pay for it. If they don't, they won't. If British farmers lack the confidence to invest in the set-up costs, then demand will continue to draw imports in.
A large part of the sentiment that underpins the organic principal is not just (perceived) quality but also a broader concern for the environment.
The organic consumer has a strong impulse to buy local produce. That impulse will mitigate against and tend to reduce demand for organic imports, push prices up and in turn encourage UK farmers to review whether or not to make the organic investment.
In the meantime, EU policy manipulates and grossly distorts the agricultural economy. For the vast majority of farmers and consumers on this side of the Channel this is a bad thing. Government and EU policy does not however extend to direct influence of the organic market.
Despite all the current hurdles to achieving success as an organic producer, my vote goes to no artificial intervention to either encourage or discourage organic - or indeed any other aspects of UK meat production.
27 October, 2016, 8:30
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