The percentage of agricultural land used for organic farming has fallen by four per cent to 122,000 hectares, or 2.2 per cent of agricultural land.
This is the eighth consecutive fall in the area of organic land. The fall in area was seen in grassland & rough grazing (down four per cent), and potatoes and veg (down one per cent), with a small increase in cereals (up one per cent). Pasture makes up 93 per cent of organic land.
There was an increase in the number of organic cattle (up 16 per cent to 29,000), but there were falls in the number of sheep (down 13 per cent to 115,000), pigs (down 75 per cent to 1,750), and poultry (down eight per cent to 241,000. There was also an increase in the number of licensed producers and processors, up from 539 in 2015 to 560 in 2016.