Open Gate for small growers:

The Soil Association (SA) is proposing to pilot a new self-assessment scheme for very small growers over the next twelve months. It says the aim is to support such growers in producing according to organic principles and to enable them to exchange/direct sell small amounts within their local community, alongside the recognition that they have done so as Soil Association members. They will not be classed as organic growers and will not be able to use the full organic or SA logos. Hot debate amongst existing organic growers and producers on the issue is expected during a period of consultation which kicks off at the Organic Research Centre Producer Conference at Harper Adams College in Shropshire on January 6th. An increasing number of people are becoming more active in their local food community by producing food on a very small scale, primarily for themselves but also for exchanging/selling to others in their local community, says Ben Raskin of the SA. And he adds – This pilot is an opportunity to persuade them to produce using organic principles, which will lead them to buy organic food and thus develop the local organic market and it will recruit them as Soil Association members and actively involve them in the creation of SA local food communities which will underpin our success in becoming a ‘movement.

Posted in EFRC, News and events