SOPA (The Scottish Organic Producers Association) say that there has never been a better time than now to convert to organic farming.
At present, as the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) application deadline looms on 30th June, markets are growing (with many organic commodities achieving premia), and Scottish Government funding is supporting both organic conversion and maintenance.
The AECS promotes land management practices that protect and enhance Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change. The latest round of funding applications, of which organic conversation and maintenance form a key strand, closes on 30th June 2021, and SOPA is perfectly placed to advise and assist farmers throughout the whole conversion journey and beyond.
SOPA’s key focus in the past year has been securing the future of funding for organic conversion and maintenance, so the AECS support is welcome. But this is the only window for applications until post-2021 funding streams are confirmed. SOPA urges anyone interested in organic funding to get in touch before it is too late.
Debs Roberts, SOPA Manager, says:
“In a time of huge uncertainty across the world, we have been really encouraged to see strong markets for organic produce, as well as strong funding support.
“Any organic farmers whose organic maintenance contract expires this year need to apply now. I cannot stress how important this is to many of our farmer businesses.
“Here at SOPA, we have the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to advise on organic conversation and standards, or indeed any other organic farming question, and I would really encourage anybody interested in conversion to get in touch with either myself or my colleague Joanna for an informal conversation.
“The deadline is at the end of June but get in touch as soon as you can so that we work with applicants to go through the process thoroughly. SOPA looks forward to helping you on your organic journey.”
Those seeking advice can call SOPA on 0300 772 9795
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) is uniquely the UK’s only membership-based not for profit organic co-operative, governed by a board of directors, all of whom are rooted in the organic industry in Scotland. www.sopa.org.uk
SOPA holds the only Scottish-based organic standards for farmers, growers and processors.
SOPA has more than 300 members throughout the UK.
SOPA certifies more than 80% of Scotland’s organic farmers.
This press release was issued on behalf of SOPA by Scene & Herd PR. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org