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Thursday, October 18, 2007
Organic Farming - An Excellent Investment For Some
Image: courtesy of Soil Association (UK)

The Business Of Organic Farming

Recent news this week from the United Kingdom newspapers reports on the resurgence of the vegetable and fruit markets, selling organic produce, within London's city neighbourhoods. What is interesting is that if you turned the clock back just forty years, none of this would seem new. Organic farming in the United Kingdom is turning into a big industry. Large grocery chains are continually expanding their aisle space to stock organic produce, and it is estimated that in just two years, the aisle space could be equally shared between organic and other vegetables and fruits. People are realizing that in addition to knowing that the produce has been grown under environmental standards, there are nutritional tastes that can often separate it from other food.

In general, the word 'organic' is used as an adjective to describe produce that has been grown free of chemical fertilizers, growth regulation chemicals, genetic modification and pesticides. Natural crop rotation, to preserve the soil, is also gradually being associated with organic grown produce as well.

In Europe, the EU Regulation (EEC) 2092/91, established in 1991 the harmonized standards for organic produce within the 12 original member countries. This EU Regulation became effective in 1993. European law applies the regulation to both produce grown in the EU and all imports of 'organics' from other countries. The United States and Japan also have regulations associated with the organic farming industry, with Japan establishing theirs in 2001 and the US in 2002.

The Organic Livestock Industry is also making its way to the table, where more concentration on the uniqueness of animal breeds and their origin of development is becoming important. Some menus in Michelin 'Star' restaurants are making specific reference to the origin of the food like 'Orkney Organic Angus Beef' or 'Dolau, Wales Organic Lamb'.

With good marketing, a well designed web site, distribution channels, and the knowledge and history from generations who have farmed the land, the family organic farm is turning into a solid investment for some.

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