Additional research funds are needed for the EU to achieve its target ensuring organic food production incorporates between 15% and 20% of farms by 2010, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements has claimed.

In a letter to EU institutions, the group has called for more earmarked funds within the present Fifth Framework and the forthcoming Sixth Framework programmes on research. It says that networked centres of competence in the sector should be established. The federation is concerned that the present sixth framework draft would fund organic farming research only regarding food safety, which is “too narrow a line of research,” it says. Instead, the subject should have its own €100m (US$89.2m) budget, it says.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent