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Slight increase in organic farmland

Published: 17 May 2018 09:52

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland 

The amount of organic farmland in Scotland has slightly increased in 2017, the first increase since 2008. A total of 123,000 hectares was certified as organic farmland in Scotland. Organic land now accounts for two per cent of agricultural land in Scotland.

The new figures on organic farming were published today by analysts in the Scottish Government. Grass and rough grazing, used for producing beef, lamb or milk, makes up 93 per cent of organic land, with cereals accounting for a further four per cent.

The number of organic cattle remained fairly constant at about 29,000, but there was a significant increase in the number of sheep, up by one third to 154,000. About two per cent of both cattle and sheep are organic.

There was also another increase in the number of licensed producers and processors, up from 560 in 2016 to 578 in 2016, of which 371 were producers.

There was also an increase in the area of organic farmland in the UK as a whole, with three per cent of agricultural land now organic. In Europe, organic production has been consistently increasing, with the latest available data, for 2016, showing just under seven 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.