Co-ordinated by Sustain, the Organic Targets Campaign succeeded in persuading Government to establish an Organic Action Plan in 2002 to increase the market share of British organic produce from 30% to 70% of the market, by 2010. As a result of Sustain’s campaign, Defra established an Organic Action Plan (OAP) Committee, which was asked to write the Organic Action Plan, which was then reviewed in 2004. The Organic Action Plan committee continued to meet for several years and to oversee and advise on implementation of organic sector policy. This page contains news of this process in 2009.
Organic Action Plan
Disappointingly, the Organic Action Plan group has been disbanded by Defra. Plans have been made for an ’Organic Stakeholder Group‘ to take forward the action plan priorities, however this is unlikely to happen before Spring 2009.
One of the first jobs Sustain will ask the stakeholder group to do is to review progress towards the target set in the original Organic Action Plan. The most recent figures available from the British Retail Consortium showed that in 2007 around two thirds (66%) of indigenous organic produce sold was from the UK. This represents considerable progress from the one third (30%) level in 2002. However, we need to know what the 2008 figure is and have a breakdown of different sectors. For example, some sectors (such as indigenous fruit) still have high import levels and the new stakeholder group should focus attention on these.
Growing the organic market
At the end of 2008, Sustain agreed to take on the role of “promoter” in the process of applying to the EU for funding to promote organics in the UK, see details on a separate page.