UK – Farmers wishing to go organic this year will need to provide more business information to receive countryside stewardship payments.
A change to government requirements will demand a conversion plan and viability form as of July this year.
This is according to trade association Organic Farmers and Growers who have stressed the changes are ‘scaled-back’, thanks to lobbying from organic groups.
The form asks for basic details on the amount of land producers intend to farm organically, as well as a proposed conversion timetable.
Farmers will also be asked to detail any crop rotation plans, proposed stock numbers, and how they plan to market and sell their produce.
While the form and guidance needs to be finalised and is subject to change, OF&G says the revised proposals should be clearer for farmers and not complicate the conversion process.
“The initial proposals added additional paperwork to the conversion process, causing unnecessary levels of bureaucracy,” said OF&G chief executive Roger Kerr.
“After discussions with Defra and Natural England it seems our concerns have been taken on board and the process has been simplified.
“The new system should provide Natural England with the information it needs without over-complicating the conversion process in any way.”
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