Review of the environmental and socio-economic barriers and benefits to organic agriculture in Scotland

Report of the research carried out by Harper Adams University, on behalf of the Scottish Government, into the environmental and socio-economic barriers and benefits to organic agriculture in Scotland.

Appendix 2: STEEP framework of barriers to organic farming in Scotland using outcomes of the REA and The Scottish Organic Action Plan Consultation (2016). 

(*) denotes distinct additions by the group of Scottish Organic Forum attendees to additional barriers they perceived







C- Reduced certified organic livestock and crop producers (since 2011) 

G- Reduced organic and in-conversion Scottish land area (since 2011) 

I- Low availability of labour and affordable rural housing to accommodate workers

*Poor perception of organic farmers in the wider agri socio-economic sphere

L- Some farms keen to gain organic certification are restricted by a lack of technical understanding of organic management 

O- Yield gap between non-organic and organic production 

Q- Evidence of long-term soil phosphorus depletion on organic farms compared to non-organic 

B- Direct payments important to financial viability of organic farms 

D- Organic premium doesn't consistently compensate farmers 

K- Limited financial stability for smaller organic farms 

J- AES measures not accounting for variable environmental performance of organic management in landscapes of different complexity 

M- Financial and administrative barriers to organic certification 

S- Inconsistent supply and lack of availability of reliable and cost-effective organic inputs for pests, weed and diseases control 

*Greater support needed through public policy and funding 


A- Poor awareness of the complete benefits of organic farming

N- Low trust in production standards and inspections

P- Expectations gap of what consumers expect of organic and reality



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