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Providing information on organic food and farming in Wales
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History of support for organic farming in Wales

DateEventImpact in Wales
1993 EC Regulation (2092/91) defined organic crop productionUse of the term 'organic' is legally defined,
and only those registered with a certification body and inspected annually may use the term for food products.
1992 [CAP reform][ EC Regulation (2078/92) provides means to support conversion to organic farming MAFF start work on Organic Aid Scheme.
1994 Organic Aid Scheme introduced Three rates for non-LFA, LFA and Unimproved/rough grazing lands under organic management.
1996 Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS) launched in Wales. Free advisory visits to farmers enquiring about organic production. Half day visit to outline organic principles, optional full day visit to look at detailed implications for the farm.
1998 Ron Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales, establishes three industry working groups. Organic working group established alongside dairy and red meat groups. Establishes importance of organic farming for Wales, despite occupying only one-third of one percent of land area at the time.
1999 Organic Working group launches Welsh Organic Action Plan Identifies need for a Centre to coordinate an Information Strategy, and the importance of policy and marketing work for development of organic food and farming in Wales
October 1999 Organic Farming Scheme opens (and closes) Due to prolonged publicity prior to the scheme opening there is huge response, and the scheme is forced to close after only one month.
1999 Organic Regulation 1804/1999 supplements Reg. 2092/91 to include livestock. Added weight to legal protection for use of the word 'organic'.
2000 Organic Farming Centre for Wales established Focal point for dissemination of information, focusing on the needs of producers.
November 2000 Organic Farming Scheme re-opens Again, backlog of applications which delay contracts. Some contracts further delayed due to Food and Mouth Disease in 2001.
February 2001 Welsh Statutory Instrument regarding the OFS (Foot and Mouth in UK)Provides specific Welsh legislation governing the Organic Farming Scheme
2002 The NAW Agriculture and Rural Development Committee undertook an inquiry in to the future of organic farming and the support required for the sector. NAW ARD Review They concluded that the sector should continue to be supported as an important aspect of sustainable agricultural policy - central to which was enhanced funding based on the introduction of on-going maintenance payments and a strategic approach to market development in partnership with the sector.
2003 New three-year contract for Organic Centre Wales. Extends remit to public education, public procurement, policy and strategy development, thus providing support to the whole of the organic community in Wales. Soil Association leaves OCW partnership.
January 2004 Statutory Instrument concerning Maintenance Payments Enables opening of the Organic Maintenance Scheme which provides five years of support for existing organic farmers.
1 March 2004 Organic Maintenance Scheme opens in Wales Long-term organic farmers have access to support funds for the first time.
1 July 2004 Second Organic Action Plan for Wales launched Advocates an increased land area target to be monitored against nine indicators of sustainable development, including financial viability of organic farms, public awareness of organic food, and the share of the UK market that is supplied from Wales
2004 [CAP reform] Welsh Assembly Government decide on use of historical reference period to set Single Payment Scheme levels, and against use of the National Envelope. Historic payment decision nominally supports family farms, but causes problems as most of Wales' organic farmers converted during the reference period (2000-2002). National Envelope decision removes major route to compensate organic farmers, particularly dairy farmers.
December 2006 Organic Farming Scheme closes for new applications. Despite the closure, farmers are encouraged to continue with conversion in the knowledge that support will be available.
December 2006 Organic Feed rules change Proportion of non-organic feed allowed for ruminants decreases.
2007 [New RDP] New Rural Development Plan for Wales. The new phase of European funding for rural development in Wales 2007-2013 starts. Approval of the Wales plan is delayed so applications to the revised Organic Farming Scheme only open in November. The new scheme brings additional support for horticulture and arable crops and simpler administration. (Foot and Mouth outbreak in SE England.) Despite the scheme being closed, there is a significant increase in land conversions during 2007. Farmers that started conversion in late 2006 or early 2007 struggle without payments during the winter of 2007/08.
2007 Revised Organic Farming Scheme Applications for the Organic Farming Scheme become available in November 2007. Farmers must complete and application form and then claim for payment on their Single Application Form (SAF) in May 2008. Farmers that started conversion in early 2007 (before the SAF deadline of 15 May 2007) are offered two years' payments in the autumn '08.
January 2008 Organic Feed rules change Organic ruminants may not be fed any non-organic feeds from 1 January 2008. For other species, a gradually declining maximum is permitted: 10% from 1st January 2008 to 31st December 2009, 5% 1st January 2010 to 31st December 2011.
22 October 2008 Organic Farming Scheme temporarily closed The revised Organic Farming Scheme is closed to new applications while administrative arrangements are put in place. From now on to be sure of support, farmers will need to receive confirmation of funding through the OFS prior to starting conversion.
1 January 2009 New EU Regulation relating to Organic Farming is in force The European regulation governing organic food and farming is now EC 834/2007 and the detailed implementing rules are EC 889/2008 which must be read together. There has been an amendment relating to the compulsory use of the logo EC 967/2008.
2-20 March 2009 Organic Farming Scheme application window Farmers that had started conversion or took on land before 22 October 2008 may apply for support to claim on the 2009 SAF. Farmers wishing to convert or take on land must complete and expression of interest and supply an outline conversion plan.
September 2009 Application window for the new Organic Farming Conversion Scheme (OFCS) opened Farmers that had started conversion, or took on land, between 15 July and 2009 and 1 January 2010 could apply for support to claim on the 2010 SAF. 89 applied.
November 2010 Second and final application window for the OFCS opened Farmers that had started conversion or took on land between 2 January 2010 and 1 January 2011 could apply for support to claim on the 2011 SAF. 36 farmers took up the offer. From this point forward organic farming will be supported through the new Glastir scheme.
July 2011 The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes made an announcement on the OFCS The OFCS will now run parallel to Glastir until the end of this Rural Development period. A further window for applications will open later in 2011.
October 2011 A further application window for the OFCS opened Farmers that have started conversion or taken on land between 2 January 2011 and 1 January 2012 can apply for support to claim on the 2012 SAF.

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Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
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logo of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentWelsh Assembly Government logo
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