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EU Extends 'Part-Organic' Pullet Standard

by 5m Editor
6 June 2011, at 9:31am

UK - Organic egg producers will be allowed to continue sourcing 'part-organic' pullets into 2012, following a failure by the EU to establish a full organic standard.

Defra has confirmed that the EU has agreed for an interim measure to be put in place, allowing pullets to be reared to organic feed and veterinary standards before transfer to organic laying systems, to remain in place beyond its previously announced expiry date of 31 December 2011.

The NFU welcomes this news and are pleased that the situation has been clarified by the commission. Many organic pullet producers had been left in a state of limbo, with rearers reluctant to invest in units for producing completely organic pullets without knowing what the standard will precisely require. The NFU are pleased that rearers will now be able to put down birds for the organic market in knowledge the legislation will not change in January 2012.

Whilst the NFU are pleased the situation has been clarified for producers, it is disappointed that no time-scale has been placed on the continued use of part-organic pullets or when an agreed standard for fully-organic pullets can be expected to be added to the EU Organic Regulation. Defra has indicated that it would expect the current arrangements to continue for at least 12 months past the December 2011 deadline and further clarification is expected in due course.

A requirement remains in place for organic pullets to be used where they are available, however the minimal supply of fully organic pullets led to the introduction of birds reared to the interim feed and veterinary standards – or 'part-organic' as they have come to be known.