: Greener Methods Can Bring Success; PROFESSIONAL APPROACH: Organic Farming Is Working with - Rather Than against - Nature Whether or Not to Go Organic on Your Smallholding Is a Big Decision to Make. Liz Shankland Looks at Ways of Deciding Whether Going Green Is for You
Byline: Liz Shankland
ONE of the best ways of making your mind up about a new course of action is by talking to someone who has already done the same thing themselves.
Whether you're a smallholder growing crops or rearing livestock on a small scale for yourself, or if you run a bigger operation and sell to others, it's almost certain you will have wondered about the whole idea of organic farming.
There is little doubt that, as consumers, we are all becoming far more choosy about knowing where our food comes from, and what has happened to it before reaching our plates.
And similarly, it seems clear that producers who adopt ``green-er'' methods, seek out the growing number of quality niche markets, and take a professional approach to promoting their wares, stand more than a good chance of success.
In its simplest terms, organic farming is working with - rather than against - nature.
The Organic Products Regulation insists that anyone who wants to produce food under the ``organic'' label has to register with a certification body.
There are several such organisations in the UK - of which the Soil Association is probably the best-known by the general public - all of which have a responsibility for ensuring that standards and regulations are understood and observed.
They, in turn, come under the scrutiny of the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards.
The National Assembly for Wales has said it is aiming at having 10pc of producers operating organically by 2005, and provides support for conversion through the Organic Farming Scheme Wales. Advice is avail-able from the Organic Conversion Information Service (01970 622100), as are information packs. …