MARCH 25, 2008: Defra has launched a free advice service for farmers thinking of going organic.

The new advisory service, provided with EU funding, will be delivered by Natural England on Defra’s behalf.It will provide farmers with free and impartial information on the principles and mechanics of organic production to help them decide whether conversion is appropriate for them.It will comprise of a national helpline (which will provide initial advice and a comprehensive information pack), a dedicated website and a free on farm advisory visits service that will supplement the initial advice provided, where appropriate.Welcoming the announcement Lord Rooker, Minister for sustainable food and farming said: “As a Government we are keen to encourage English farmers to convert and adopt more sustainable production practices and take advantage of the wide range of opportunities offered by rising demand for organic food.“The Organic Research Centre has an established record of providing the agriculture sector with high quality impartial conversion information and advice and we are delighted to be collaborating with them and NE in the delivery of this new service.”

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