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Further fall in organic land

Published: 13 Jun 2016 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The percentage of agricultural land used for organic farming has fallen by seven per cent to 126,000 hectares, or 2.3 per cent of agricultural land, according to new figures published today by Scotland's Chief Statistician.

This is the seventh consecutive fall in the area of organic land. The fall in area was seen in grassland & rough grazing (down seven per cent), cereals (down nine per cent), potatoes and veg (down 13 per cent) with other land remaining steady. Pasture makes up 93 per cent of organic land.

There were increases in the number of organic cattle (up ten per cent), pigs (more than trebling), and poultry (up 30 per cent), but a 26 per cent fall in the number of sheep. There was also a decrease in the number of licensed producers and processors, down from 576 in 2014 to 539 in 2015.

There was also a fall in the area of organic farmland in the UK as a whole, with 3.0 per cent of agricultural land now organic. In Europe, however, organic production is increasing, with the latest available data, for 2014, showing six per cent of agricultural land used for organic farming.

The documents released today were produced by independent statistical staff, free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full publication can be accessed at:
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/7436

These statistics are used by government and stakeholders to monitor and assess the economic well-being of the agricultural sector and for policy evaluation. Further information on Agriculture and Fisheries statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:
www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries

More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About