Anne Bruce DEFRA handed responsibility for the future of the English organic industry to the multiples in its Organic Action Plan this week. The report says the growth of the sector must be led by consumer demand, rather than by what suppliers produce as it is now. And as the multiples sell 80% of organic food in the UK, they will be the "key players in the future development of the sector" says the Action Plan. The NFU wants a standard British organic logo, but Treasury funding for that was not forthcoming in the £140m Action Plan. However new subsidy schemes have been set up to raise domestic production levels to 70% of market share from the current 30%. All organic farmers will be subsidised, with increased aid for fruit production. And as part of a move to demand-led supply, the British Retail Consortium will conduct a retailer survey in September to identify opportunities offered to UK producers. The BRC will analyse demand by comparing proportions of UK produced primary products on sale with equivalent conventional products. The Action Plan also outlines reform of organic certification in the UK, replacing the current central body, the UK Register of Organic Food Standards. A new DEFRA sponsored certification committee will have representation from all nine UK certifiers, consumers and retailers. Organic stakeholders including the Soil Association, the NFU, the Organic Food Federation, and the Food and Drink Federation composed the Organic Action Plan. The group will continue to meet until April to implement and develop strategy, and then feed into the new accreditation advisory committee. NFU productions standards advisor Joanna Jeffery said: "We welcome this advisory committee as a route to discuss many issues and progress the development of one organic logo, which we had expected be included in the report." {{NEWS }}