Seeds of growth for organic farming
Organic food was on the menu in Elgin today as Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead launched the updated Organic Action Plan.
The Elgin Youth Café served up refreshments sourced from organic producers during the visit to Pitgaveny Farms.
New initiatives have been introduced to the Organic Action Plan, first published in 2011, to help meet growing consumer demand for organic produce.
Included in the new actions are:
- helping farmers develop their skills
- identifying and promoting export opportunities to exploit expanding organic markets
- helping to support, stimulate and facilitate new product development in the organic sector
The Scottish Organic Forum will work with Scottish Development International and Scotland Food & Drink to break into expanding markets.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland is known around the world for its food and drink, and our ability to grow such high quality produce is at the heart of that.
“The initial Organic Action Plan has helped the industry progress and the changes we are implementing today reflect new opportunities for development - we’re going to help our farmers develop their skills and we want to break into new organic markets to boost sales. We have the expertise, knowledge and tools at our disposal to continue to support future growth of the organic industry.
“Organic businesses play a crucial role in Scotland’s economy. It is important we help to enhance their reputation, open up new market opportunities and encourage more to get involved.
“It’s great to see the work of the Elgin Youth Café highlighted here - they carry out such valuable work to provide local children with a safe place to meet their friends. The café is also showcasing Scotland’s organic produce in the best possible way at a time when there is increased demand for fresh, seasonal and local foods.”
Richard Huxtable, chairman of the Scottish Organic Forum, said:
“The Scottish Organic Forum is delighted that the Scottish Government continues to play a role in supporting and developing the organic sector. The action plan was always intended to be a living document and the updated actions demonstrate that the industry continues to look forward and play a positive role in both the Scottish farming and food sectors.
“Demand for organic land is increasing as the organic market moves back into growth. Ahead are new opportunities for organic farmers and growers, the supply chain and for people looking to buy organic food in shops and restaurants”.
Scottish Organic Forum
Elgin Youth Café