UK body OF&G (Organic Farmers and Growers) has welcomed Defra’s announcement concerning the rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme in 2022, as well as the government's recognition in its statement of the importance of supporting organics in the emerging regulatory framework.
'The mention of ‘an easily accessible, holistic package for organic farmers’ is the acknowledgement of the need for ongoing support of organic farmers and support for those going into conversion,' said OF&G chief executive Roger Kerr. 'Organic has clear, verified and robust standards and proven delivery of environmental benefits and we are pleased to see Defra include it within the SFI proposals.'
At the CLA Rural Business Conference, environment secretary George Eustice offered six examples of farmers embracing environmentally friendly farming practices, including two from certified organic farmers.
According to the OF&G, this illustrates that a tried and tested organic approach can deliver the transformative outcomes sought by Defra.
'Mr Eustice rightly says that ‘success in farming requires attention to detail’,' Kerr stated. 'He must be mindful to apply the same rule to government policy making. We’ll continue to monitor future development of SFI and are keen to maintain our current dialogue with Defra to ensure that organic is consistently and fairly represented.'
Kerr said that planning ahead would be crucial, and that organic farmers were far from alone in desiring advanced notice of how SFI would be integrated into legislation.