Congratulations - and thanks!
Thank you to all those who emailed Defra as part of the food and farming consultation, post Brexit. With your voices we managed to get the message across that omitting 'organic' from their proposals for the future of British farming was a serious oversight.
We know that over 350 individual emails were sent from Garden Organic members. And there could be just as many more that we don't know about. In fact so strong was the response that the Defra inbox was full within hours of our first call to action!
"We continue to campaign for the organic grower across the land," says Garden Organic Chief Executive, James Campbell. "It is heartening to know that we represent such committed members, who are happy to support us in our actions. Defra now know, loud and clear, how strongly the public feel about growing and sourcing healthy organic food."
The consultation closed on May 8th. We await the response, and will keep you informed. Here is the White Paper under discussion.
This was our suggested response, although we urged members use their own text if preferred:
I am writing in response to Defra’s landmark consultation on future farm policy ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’.
I am concerned that organic farming is not specifically mentioned in the White Paper. It refers to vital environmental outcomes such as improving soil health, water and air quality, and increasing biodiversity. These are cornerstones of organic growing, and yet the White Paper makes no mention of support or encouragement of organic practices.
I would like the government to recognise the contribution of organic growers. To embed the organic principles in any dialogue with the AHDB, as well as CPD for farmers. Only then will we be able to reduce pesticide use effectively, prioritise the management of our soils, and make it possible for the UK to truly achieve the benefits of a healthy and harmonious farming system.
Thank you for inviting comment and I look forward to hearing from you that my concerns have been taken into account.
We will continue to keep you updated with this campaign.