A looming shortage of organic British meat could check sales growth in the organic sector, the Soil Association has warned.
Despite 22% growth in the UK's organic market to a record £1.94bn, production of organic pigs and lambs was falling, said food and farming director Helen Browning. She blamed the soaring cost of organic feed, which this week hit £240 per tonne - 50% more than a year ago.
"The supply of organic feed for farmers is likely to constrain that growth," she said. "The impact will be variable across the different organic categories."
The shortage of feed is likely to become more acute, as the UK's arable area in organic schemes fell in 2006.
"Self-sufficiency in organic arable production has fallen back below 50%, forcing us to import more," said Browning. "It's a sad story and one we need to address."
She admitted a Soil Association campaign to attract new organic cereal growers this spring had not met much success.