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Organic threat to farmers; Views of the North.

VISCOUNT Ridley is quite correct to call for an end to public money being used to encourage farmers to switch to organic production.

The normal course of events is for public money to be used to "pump prime" a sector, and then for the market to take the lead.

Generous incentives have been available for some years to assist farmers to convert to organic farming.

This has allowed many farmers to forge successful low input, low output farm businesses, supplying organic food, for which many are prepared to pay a premium, which sustains the organic farming model.

Unfortunately, it has been widely reported that demand for organic food has reduced in recent years.

Continuing to encourage farmers to convert to producing more organic food will only reduce the premiums available in a declining market, so threatening existing, successful organic farming businesses.

There are many other ways that this money could be spent to provide greater benefits to the rural economy.

ANGUS COLLINGWOODCAMERON, Northern farmers and landowners group.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 31, 2014
Words:167
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