Welsh organic growers and businesses will come together at a workshop in Machynlleth in early December to work out a joint plan for the organic horticulture sector.
Organic Centre Wales and the Organic Growers Alliance are running the workshop, in response to a market review by the Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project which uncovered some very difficult business challenges for organic growers.
Mike Westrip, spokesman for the Organic Growers Alliance, said “We've faced several consecutive poor growing years and a drop in the market, so that some long-established organic growers are struggling as never before”.
The workshop will focus on some of the key issues identified by growers, wholesalers, processors and retailers, including how to access new markets, working together, selling produce better and working more closely with communities.
In a practical exercise, participants will have a chance to try their skills at making attractive displays from a selection of seasonal vegetables.
Tony Little, Horticulture specialist at OCW said: “Ironically, many of the people who used to be loyal customers of organic growers are now the very ones who are growing their own vegetables and reducing sales. We need to find a new approach.”
The workshop will be held at the Centre for Alternative Technology's new WISE building on Friday 3 December. It starts at 9.30 and includes an organic lunch. Please contact Tony Little at Organic Centre Wales on 01970 621632 to book a free place or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Little, email@example.com 01970 621632 and see our website at www.organiccentrewales.org.uk.
Notes for editors
1 Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
2. BOBL is an Organic Centre Wales funded under the Supply Chain Efficiencies scheme as part of the Welsh Assembly Government Rural Development Plan. The project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way. The project will develop new, emerging and existing markets for organic produce whilst driving innovation, at all levels, within the supply chain. The overall aim is to support a thriving Welsh organic sector so that the benefits of WAG investment in the Organic Farming Scheme to generate agri-environmental benefits, and in the Welsh Organic Action Plan to support rural development and sustainable food production, can be fully realised.
3. The Organic Conversion Information Service (01970 622100) is funded by WAG to provide information to producers considering conversion – an information pack and up to three free on-farm visits are available.