HC Deb 19 November 1987 vol 122 cc660-1W
46. Mr.Conway

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will report on the development of organic farming; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

There is a growing demand for organically grown food from consumers in this and in many other countries and I believe that this provides an important opportunity for United Kingdom production to be increased significantly. I am therefore particularly pleased that Food from Britain has recently set up the United Kingdom register of organic food standards under the chairmanship of Professor Colin Spedding of Reading university. The UKROFS board will seek to establish, in consultation with organic producers, nationally recognised production standards which in turn will provide a better framework for the further development of this specialised market.

65. Mr. Nicholas Baker

To ask the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food what is his policy towards the proposals by the Soil Association entitled "A Manifesto for Organic Agriculture", a copy of which has been sent to him.

Mr. Gummer

In "A Manifesto for Organic Agriculture" the Soil Association put forward a number of proposals which, it suggested, called for Government action. Since the document was published, the Government for their part have taken important policy initiatives which should encourage the development of organic production in this country—in particular, the setting up by Food from Britain of the United Kingdom register of organic food standards, on the board of which three prominent members of the Soil Association serve. I hope that all organic producers, whether members of the Soil Association or not, will now seize the opportunities which are beginning to open up to them.