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Evaluation of factors contributing to selection of imported organic food compared to domestic products: pork, beef, potatoes and brassicas

{Project} Evaluation of factors contributing to selection of imported organic food compared to domestic products: pork, beef, potatoes and brassicas. Runs 2005 - 2006. Project Leader(s): Stopes, Christopher, EcoS Consultancy .

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The Organic Action Plan for England has a key target to increase the proportion of UK sourced organic food, this is highlighted in the report “Two Years On”1. A significant proportion of organic food that could be produced in this country is imported, the most recent survey for the England Organic Action Plan by BRC2 shows that in 2004 organic beef, pork, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) and potatoes are all imported to a far greater extent (only half is British origin) than is the case for the same products conventionally produced (almost all is British origin).
Defra and the Organic Action Plan Team commissioned a study3 (Increasing the proportion of UK supply for key organic foods), completed by EcoS Consultancy in collaboration with the Organic Action Plan Retail Sub-group and the BRC. The study: identified best practice amongst UK supermarkets to sourcing UK organic food; reviewed the opportunities and threats in supermarket organic supply chains; proposed key organic products where there appeared to be scope for increasing the proportion of UK supply; and proposed strategic objectives relevant to government, suppliers and supermarkets.
The main objective of the proposed study is to analyse 4 organic products (pork, beef, potatoes and brassicas – all identified as priorities in the earlier report and highlighted in the BRC survey), where there are imports to the UK, and where UK production would be expected to be possible. Specific recommendations for policy (government and commercial) arising from the analysis will be proposed.
The study will: 1) Define why and the conditions under which imported organic products (pork, beef, potatoes and brassicas) are selected instead of domestic product available in the UK; 2) evaluate differences between EU countries (e.g. organic standards implementation, cost of organic production, supply chain and marketing routes); 3) identify why key production and buying decisions are made; 4) identify blocks in UK organic systems (e.g. investment, production, standards, certification); 5) specify conditions necessary for more UK supply; 6) make recommendations for government and other stakeholders.
The primary benefit to Defra will be to contribute to increasing the supply of UK produced organic food through defining the opportunity for policy measures and other approaches to be considered by government and all other stakeholders to encourage more UK production of key organic primary products that are imported (as identified in the BRC survey). Retailers and their suppliers, as well as producers in the UK will be in a better position to overcome obstacles to UK production, hence contributing to the achievement of the Organic Action Plan objectives.
The research team has unrivalled expertise in the organic sector and detailed knowledge of both organic and conventional supply chains. In addition, the project will involve other key stakeholder experts who will bring specific knowledge of production, purchasing and retailing of organic food to the project to enable the workplan to be completed.
1. Define why and the conditions under which 4 example organic products (pork, beef, potatoes and brassicas) are imported into the UK where UK production is possible, through analysis of differences in organic standards implementation, costs of organic production and regulation affecting organic pork, beef, potato and brassica in the UK, and in selected EU and non-EU member states.
2. Evaluate these differences in the context of the cost structure, supply chain, marketing routes and economic situation of organic and conventional producers in the selected countries and clarify why production and buying decisions are made.
3. Identify blocks in UK organic systems (production, standards, certification) and specify possible changes to encourage more UK supply.
4. Complete two Stakeholder Workshops (Livestock and Crops) to review the outcome of Objectives 1-3.
5. Produce a final report that summarises the outcome of the research project and makes specific recommendations, relevant to government, and organic suppliers and producers that would be likely to encourage a greater proportion of UK supply of the products studied, and more generally.

EPrint Type:Project description
Type of Facility:Other
Keywords:supply chains, imports, markets, food networks, meat, vegetables, policy, stakeholders, crops, livestock
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Food systems > Markets and trade
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: UK > Other organizations
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www.efrc.com/manage/authincludes/article_uploads/Organic%20Imports%20Study%20Project%20Brief%20150705.pdf
Project ID:OF0349
Start Date:14 June 2005
End Date:15 March 2006
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6603
Deposited On:27 Mar 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:29

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