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Organic Food

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the percentage of organic food sold in the UK which was produced in the UK; what powers the UK has to check the authenticity of organic food imported from abroad; and if he will make a statement. (85947)

It is estimated that overall the percentage of organic food sold in the UK which was produced in the UK increased from 30 per cent. in 2002, to 44 per cent. in 2005. For food which can be produced in the UK the estimate for 2005 is 62 per cent. The Soil Association1 estimates that in 2005, 66 per cent. of the organic primary produce sold by multiple retailers was sourced in the UK

Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 requires organic food imported from outside the EU to be produced to EU standards for organic production. The European Commission has recognised certain third countries as having equivalent systems of production and control. Otherwise decisions on equivalence are taken by the member states in response to requests from individual importers for the authorisations required for importing organic produce from third countries not recognised by the European Commission for this purpose.

1 Source :

Organic Market Report 2006—published by the Soil Association—data collected by Soil Association from Tesco, Sainsburys and the Co-op.