Industry sector:

Organic farm: Organic conversion

All organic farmers must be registered with one of the approved control bodies. These are:

  • Organic Farmers and Growers Ltd
  • Global Trust Certification Ltd
  • OF&G (Scotland) Ltd
  • Organic Food Federation
  • Soil Association Certification Ltd
  • Biodynamic Agricultural Association
  • Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association
  • Organic Trust Ltd
  • Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd

The stages of conversion

  • you make an initial application to the certifying body. The application must include a cropping history for each field, a livestock management plan and a conversion plan for the whole farm. You will be charged an application fee
  • you will be visited by an inspector and either approved or turned down for organic conversion
  • once approved, you have to keep detailed records of inputs and sales and submit an annual report
  • you will be inspected at least once a year and your licence will be renewed on an annual basis

Organic farming grants

Organic farming in the UK is supported by the Countryside Stewardship scheme in England. Similar but separate schemes operate in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The schemes offer payments to existing organic farmers as well as payments for conversion of conventionally farmed land to organic production. Further details of the schemes are available on the website and you can get additional guidance from the relevant agriculture department.