December 13, 2012
The likely decision of the European Commission to rubber stamp the continued use of non-organic ingredients in organic feeds until at least 2015 has been described as a monumental copout.
Commenting on a Guidance Note issued by DEFRA, Ian Proctor, managing director of Hi Peak Organic Feeds says the Commission has spectacularly failed the organic sector with the consequence that the credibility of organic food could be severely dented. He further criticises the proposal because it fails even to reduce in stages the amount of non-organic material that can be included.
“It beggars belief that an established principle made nearly 10 years ago – that all organic feed should be 100% organic by 2012- appears to have been dropped less than a month before the deadline. DEFRA now give the firm impression that ratification of the proposal is a formality, effectively to do nothing and knock the issue into the long grass,” said Mr Proctor, whose mill was the first multi-spies of its kind to become totally organic in the UK.
” I find the Commission’s casual approach to the matter flabbergasting: and i have no doubt prolonging the anomaly of conventional feeds in organic will provoke a consumer backlash in the not too distant future. Perhaps the only way to bring common sense to bear is for David Cameron to veto the plans personally.
“It appears feed manufacturers on the periphery of organics are the most vociferous in resisting the move to 100% organic feed. One assumes this is because the use of non-organic ingredients enables- in terms of sourcing ingredients and formulation- less commitment and expertise compared to an all-out organic approach.
” The time has now come where mills should commit to being either conventional or organic, the halfway house status of some manufacturers is distorting the clear divide that needs to exist between the two systems,” he said.
Mr Proctor went on to say the argument of insufficient organic ingredients was unproven, adding that those who planned and prepared for the 2012 ruling in good faith has a right to feel aggrieved. He suggested representations to DEFRA from Hi Peak Organic Feeds about the success of its 100% org