The English Organic Forum welcomes part one of Henry Dimbleby’s ambitious National Food Strategy, launched this week (Wednesday 29 July 2020). It’s encouraging to see Mr Dimbleby’s ‘food-topia’ vision, which amongst other things, recognises the value of organic farming within a broad-based food strategy supported by investment in R&D that enables innovation to enhance yields and resilience, while also working within natural systems.
The National Food Strategy Part One refers to Defra’s developing Environmental Land Management policy which aims to pay farmers for the provision of public goods. If the area of organic land in England were to increase to one million hectares, which is approximately three times the current organic land area in England, this would result in a 1.7kt reduction in active pesticide ingredient applications, with an associated 25% increase in biodiversity while simultaneously delivering on numerous other benefits and public goods.
Organic is widely recognised as a regenerative and sustainable farming system and with its proven delivery of public goods, makes it well suited to help in the delivery of a sustainable National Food Strategy. Organic is backed by annual independent inspections, and its principles and practises are enshrined in law in the UK, Europe and around the world.