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August 10, 2009

UPDATE: UK: Organic answer to sustainability – Soil Association

Organic farming offers a means of improving the sustainability of food production in the UK, organic body The Soil Association told just-food today (10 August).

Organic farming offers a means of improving the sustainability of food production in the UK, organic body The Soil Association told just-food today (10 August).

This morning, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) warned the country needs a “radical” rethink of how it produces and consumes its food.

More food needs to be produced – but it must be made in a way that lessens the impact the food supply chain has on the environment, Defra said.

The Soil Association, one of the bodies that certifies organic food in the UK, said organic farming would be a key tool in the fight to feed a growing global population.

“Organic farming techniques are going to be critical if we are to meet the growing worldwide demand for food,” Helen Browning, Soil Association policy advisor, suggested.

Browning said that there was a distinction between certified organic products and organic farming techniques, which she predicted would increasingly become “the norm” in food production. These practices include such practices as mixed farming, crop rotation and less dependency on fossil fuels.

“We feel that these technologies should be a cornerstone of any successful food strategy,” she said.

Browning dismissed a “silver bullet” approach to the issue, such as the use of genetically modified crops.  

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