Industry Calls for Urgent Action on Organic Derogations

UK - The NFU, NPA and stakeholders across the industry(1) are urging the European Commission to extend two derogations for organic pig and poultry which are coming to an end on 31 December 2017.
calendar icon 18 September 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

Due to tight supplies of organic proteins, farmers are currently allowed to feed their pig and poultry up to 5 per cent non-organic protein. Where organically-reared pullets are not available, they are also allowed to buy in pullets of up to 18-weeks-old, provided they have been managed under the organic feed and veterinary standard.

Without Commission intervention, these derogations will revert back to original regulation which requires a 100 per cent organic diet.

This will not only have severe consequences to the organic sector, such as being unable to source the right nutrition, but will be a major welfare concern for young birds who are extremely vulnerable to predators.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: "It is vital for the organic poultry sector that an extension to these derogations is granted as soon as possible. Producers are planning now for 2018 and currently have no certainty whether these derogations will be in place.

"Organic producers would like nothing more than to use 100 per cent organic feed but they don’t want to do this at the expense of their animals’ health and welfare, which is why an extension is so important.

"The NFU and NPA, along with industry experts, have met with Government officials to stress these concerns and ensure the voice of the organic pig and poultry sector is heard. We will continue to push this agenda with MEPs and the Commission until the situation is resolved.

"The organic poultry sector continues to grow and it would be extremely disappointing to see these concerns go unaddressed."

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: "It is vital for the organic pig sector that these derogations are extended to ensure that producers can continue to control the welfare and diet of their animals.

"Without these derogations, there are serious concerns that the pig and poultry sectors would not be able to source the right nutrition to give their animals the best possible diet."

1. The following organisations have supported the NFU and NPAs call:

– OF&G is one of the largest control bodies in the UK, certifying over 50 per cent of UK organic land and operating across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. OF&G has more than forty years’ experience in the organic sector and is the longest established Defra approved organic control body. The company’s headquarters are in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. More here.

British Poultry Council - Here at the British Poultry Council (BPC), we represent nearly 90 per cent of the UK poultry meat sector (that’s chicken, turkey, duck, and goose). We’ve been the voice of the industry since 1967. More here.

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