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Organic farming policy and research

Defra, in co-operation with key stakeholders, is working towards developing and promoting a viable and sustainable organic farming and food sector in England, in order to ensure that, as far as possible, demand for organic products is met by UK farmers and producers.

Action plan to develop organic food and farming

In order to achieve this vision, Defra launched an Action Plan to develop organic farming and food for England in July 2002. The plan aims to increase organic food production and encourage home producers to supply at least 70% of the domestic organic market for indigenous products by 2010.

When the plan was published in 2002, only 30% of all organic products were supplied by the UK. By 2005, the Soil Association estimate that approximately 66% of all  organic primary produce sold by multiple retailers was sourced in the UK, demonstrating that more and more people are now beginning to appreciate the value and quality available in the organic marketplace.

Defra is also working with the Organic Action Plan Stakeholder Group to identify further opportunities for UK producers and ensure that organic production makes a full contribution to Defra’s Sustainable farming and food strategy and vice versa.

So, whilst much has been done to develop and promote this sector, there is still a great deal to do to ensure that all those involved in the food chain are signed up and can enjoy the benefits that the organic farming and food sector can offer.

Research on the organic sector

See our separate section on organic research.

Statistics about organic food and farming in the UK

Defra's Statistics Department publishes statistics on organic food and farming.

For more information on the above statistics please email

Page last modified: 2 August 2007
Page published: 1 July 2006