No stopping demand for organic feed
Despite high prices, demand for organic feed-particularly for poultry
production-continues to grow, according to Graham Loveday, organic sales manager
for Marriages, the Essex-based flour and feed millers.
The poor grain harvest across Europe last summer, combined with tightening EU
standards, have sent prices for organic cereals to new levels with wheat
fetching up to £280 a tonne (€416). The EU now requires the organic content of
animal feed to increase from 80 to 85%, and as high as 95% with ruminants.
Organic chicken is popular
"The biggest demand for
organic feed is from poultry producers such as Kelly Turkeys responding to the
growing popularity of organic chicken and turkey with consumers," says Mr
Loveday. "But we are also seeing significant growth, too, in our sales to small
farms producing beef, pork, lamb and eggs for farmers markets and sales direct
from the farm.
Rely on imports
"We are concerned at
the current supply situation and the prospects for the year ahead as the
consumer demand for organic food increases. For a number of years we have been
encouraging UK farmers to produce more organic grain, and we do purchase an
increasing proportion of our needs locally.
"But like other
compounders, we do also rely on imports and although Kazakhstan has now released
another 40,000 tonnes of organic wheat, albeit at a steep premium, the supply
situation remains tight at least until harvest."
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