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Welsh organic farming statistics: the market

ramAlthough 2010 was a relatively favourable year for the Welsh organic sector in terms of land area and livestock numbers, the organic market was static. Many livestock producers failed to find organic markets for their produce, selling instead through conventional markets.

For a full report see...The main results are summarized below.

Livestock sales

Increasing numbers of organic cattle and sheep were sold through conventional markets in 2010, reaching 18% for beef and virtually half or all organic lambs. Conventional prices were high, and the organic premium was low.

The total volume of Welsh organic milk sold continued to decline, and some was sold into the conventional market. There were approximately 100 certified organic dairy producers, most of them supplying milk to either OMSCo or Calon Wen.

The number of pig and poultry producers in Wales is very small, making variations in sales figures difficult to analyse.

The figures presented below are all from the Welsh organic producer survey 2009 and Welsh Organic Producer Survey 2010.

Table 6: Estimated total Welsh produced organic livestock sales

EnterpriseOrganic sales 2010Organic sales 2009
Finished cattle40004100
Store cattle35004300
Finished lambs6400065000
Store lambs900013000
Milk (thou' litres)5700061000
Eggs (thou' doz.)2000500
Pigs (all classes)500600

Source: Organic Producer Survey 2010, Organic Centre Wales (based on 62% survey response).

Table 7: Livestock products reared organically but sold as conventional, whether because it was in-conversion or failed to find an organic market (other)

In-conversion 2010In-conversion 2009Other 2010Other 2009
Finished cattle10001900900500
Store cattle1700330026001600
Finished lambs51000900006100035000
Store lambs12000160002300016000
Milk ('000 litres)2000530012001100
Eggs ('000 doz)000500
Pigs (all classes)0200200200

Source: Organic Producer Survey 2010, Organic Centre Wales (based on 62% survey response).

Horticulture

According to 2010 Defra certification data, brassica, potatoes and root vegetables dominate the sector, which covers just over 200 ha. Holdings producing mixed market crops, potatoes and fruit were most prevalent, with almost three-quarters of market garden produce sold direct to the public. Estimates for 2009 suggested that the overal market was worth £90m, of which fresh produce accounted for £23.5m. Catering was responsible for £210,000 of sales and farmers markets for £240,000.

For more information see A Review of the Welsh Organic Horticultural Market, November 2010 and the Organic Market Wales bulletin.

Arable crops

During 2010 the majority of Welsh organic arable producers grew barley or oats, often mixed with legumes. Only a quarter sold any grain and most produced feed for on-farm consumption. All the oats produced were sold to other producers, but around two-thirds of barley was sold to a wholesaler. The most recent prices from Norton Organics are available from the Organic Market Wales bulletin.
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