Organic sector to benefit from reviewed Glastir Scheme
Organic Centre Wales (OCW) are welcoming the announcement by Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, Alun Davies who has committed and outlined ways to ensure a sustainable organic sector in Wales through the reviewed Glastir Scheme.
Deputy Minister, Alun Davies has announced plans to implement the recommendations made by the Glastir Independent Review Group to allow organic farmers access to organic maintenance funds within Glastir from 2014.
In the meantime the Welsh Government will offer existing Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) participants extensions to their current agreements. The extension will run to the end of the current Rural Development Plan (RDP) period (31 December 2013).
OCW are encouraged by the move, which strengthens support to current organic famers, and also offers support to those who wish to switch to organic farming. Windows to apply for the Organic Farming Conversion Scheme will open later in 2011 and again in 2012.
The Welsh Government and OCW encourage farmers to utilise surgeries put in place to assist with the Glastir application process. Officials will assist organic farmers to reach the required points threshold for the All Wales Element.
Sue Fowler, Director of Organic Centre Wales said: “Organic Centre Wales welcomes the statement by the Deputy Minister. We encourage farmers to make use of the services and advice available.
“OCW runs the Organic Conversion Information Service, funded by the Welsh Government, which provides information to producers to enable them to make an informed decision on whether to switch to organic. Services like this and the Farming Connect programme will help develop and improve organic farming to make the best use of Government support and deliver sustainable farming systems for Wales.”
The Deputy Minister noted that the proposals relating to the extended OFS and Glastir are subject to approval by the European Commission.
In light of the Government Announcement, OCW are encouraging producers interested in organic production to call the Organic Conversation Information Service on 01970 622100.
For more information please contact Lara Hallett at MGB PR on 01792 460200
Notes for editors
1. OCW is the national resource for consumers, farmers and policy makers committed to more sustainable food and farming in Wales. Based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University. See www.organiccentrewales.org.uk.
2. Farming Connect, Farming Connect is an integrated, Wales-wide scheme for farm and forestry businesses in Wales. It is funded through the Rural Development Plan 2007-2013, which is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. The scheme provides an accessible and flexible range of services including one-to-one support, knowledge, expertise, training and advisory services tailored to individual need. Many services are fully funded, and others are subsidised by 80% for all eligible farmers. All of them help farmers to run their businesses more efficiently. For further information call the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813.
3. The Organic Conversion Information Service is funded by the Welsh Government to provide information to producers, to enable them to make an informed decision on whether to change to organic management and certification – the helpline, an information pack and up to three free on-farm visits are available. Contact the OCW helpline on: 01970 622100.