The Organic Farm Management Handbook 2023
The Organic Farm Management Handbook is the only source of information on the costs and performance of organic farming.
At a time where external agricultural inputs are at a high, organic production as a solution to the transition to low input systems has never seemed more logical. This is one reason why we are relaunching the Organic Farm Management Handbook to assist organic farmers, and farmers considering conversion, with navigating difficult farm business decisions.
Since our last edition, the past few seasons have seen extraordinary market conditions. Brexit in 2019 created uncertainty around organic certification for those exporting to, and importing from, Europe. Further uncertainty then struck in the Spring of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Food manufacturers had to adjust to new working conditions, food service shut down and retail sales had to be restructured. At the same time, demand for organic products rose through the pandemic lockdowns. After a tumultuous few years for the food and drink market, our hope is that the resurrection of the handbook will better equip organic farmers, growers, and prospective entrants with reliable market data, specific sector budgets, and sources of information and advice.
Information is key
One of the key barriers is the lack of current information on the costs and business performance of organic farms and related management issues that is vital to anyone contemplating the seismic shift to organic farming. The revised OFMH will provide that information – utilising in depth historical data and expert opinion.
It is the essential tool for understanding the economics of organic farming in the UK. It can:
Help with business plans and budgets
Provide a means of assessing the viability of
specific crops and livestock
Advise on conversion related innovations such
as new marketing approaches.
Thanks to our sponsors and donors
“I have been using the Organic Farm Management handbook for many years. It has been extremely useful in my teaching career to help learners access valuable information about the viability of organic agricultural and horticultural enterprises and to develop business plans for their future endeavours. As a grower and a farmer, I used the book regularly. It has been very useful in keeping up-to-date industry information, gross margins and benchmarks for specific agricultural crops and more.”Nir Halfon – Programme Manager, Horticultural Apprenticeships, Plumpton College; Farmer and Grower
“I find the Organic Farm Management Handbook invaluable when budgeting for the short term and the long term. It also contains important agronomic information which is always useful when planning alternative rotations. A must for seasoned organic farmers as well as those considering conversion.”
John Pawsey, Shimpling Park Farm
“The OFMH is a great start point for anyone coming into the organic world, it gives you a constant baseline to refer to and build you own financial system from. There are so many touch points to try and master when entering into a new venture and the OFMH can act as a short cut to numerous aspects of the industry”Matt Smee, Grower, Organic Growers Gathering Oct 2023
“The Organic Farm Management Handbook is a crucial source for people to get reliable information. The book puts the emphasis on the importance of good and clear information for both organic farmers, existing organic farmers and also those thinking through your conversion”Christopher Stopes, Policy Advisor for OF&G CIC, Organic Growers Gathering Oct 2023
“It’s a useful guide, but there are many occasions when you have to extrapolate the figures to that particular situation. But it is a good guide. It has the background information that I think growers need. And I think growers should be using it more.”Iain Tolhurst, Tolhurst Organic, Organic Growers Gathering Oct 2023
“As a new grower, having a reference book like this that you can go back to and build your business plan from, it’s invaluable, because you have some basic data to be able to work out even a three-year business plan. This is a book that everyone growing should have.”Gabriel Kaye, Executive Director at Biodynamic Association
“It’s always been there as a resource to reach out to when you’re trying to prepare a budget as a farmer, when you’re not sure what the initial economic framework for an enterprise might look like….”John Twyford, The Dairy Group
“Attractive, easy to read and easy to navigate through the sections so you can flick though and find what you need immediately. Better than the previous editions.”Tony Little, Sustainable Farming Consultancy
“The Organic Farm Management Handbook is a key resource for market gardeners looking to improve the accuracy of financial forecasting and crop planning.”Head Grower, Cinderwood Market Garden
Buy your paperback Handbook
The price of 1 handbook is £35.00 to UK addresses including postage and packaging (NB. there is no VAT chargeable on our supply of this book to you). You can order up to 5 copies using this order form. If you would like more than 5 copies please email email@example.com so that we can quote you accordingly.
Please note: Shortly after the 2023 Organic Farm Management Handbook was sent to print, a new payment rate was announced for organic top fruit on the 2nd of October 2023.
This now means that all revenue claim payments for “OR5: Organic conversion – top fruit” will be £1,920 per hectare for up to three years (full information available at: https://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/organic-conversion-top-fruit-or5). This affects information provided on page 51 of the handbook, where payment rate is stated as “OR5: Organic conversion – top fruit” at £1,254 per hectare, which was the figure provided at the time of print. The increase in payment is welcome as the production costs for organic top fruit farms have risen significantly in recent times. Please keep this new payment rate in mind when using the handbook.