The organics industry will implode if consumers' faith in it is shaken, according to leading figures. Rupert Maitland-Titterton, chairman of the Food and Drink Federation Organic Group, and group marketing manager of the European grocery division of Heinz, said: "The science behind organics is not robust. If consumers are given cause to question it as a brand, the freefall could eliminate the category overnight." Representatives of the top three organic certifying bodies echoed his warning, given at the first meeting of the Food and Drink Federation's organic think-tank. Patricia Coleman-Taylor of certification body Organic Farmers and Growers said: "Organics works as a brand because it has been protected by good guardians over the years. "It would be dangerous to make any claims on safety or health grounds for organics. If they were disproved consumers would lose faith." Organic industry leaders said the plethora of organic certifiers in the UK was already muddying the waters in consumers' minds. Coleman-Taylor added: "Standards are different across the marketplace. We need one standard for the whole of Europe in all agricultural sectors." There are nine organic certification bodies in the UK, all of which demand different standards from suppliers. All are registered with the MAFF funded watchdog United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards, which also has its own separate set of standards to meet. Those which sell in the US need Lacos (List of Certifying Organisations) certification, or Ifoam (International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements) certification to sell internationally. Helen Taylor of the Soil Association said: "It would be much easier to work to a common standard. We need fewer grey areas." Julian Wade of the Organic Food Federation said: "There is a tendency for individual certifiers to goldplate EU standards in organics, which puts the burden of red tape on suppliers." FDF forum will watch worldwide progress The Food and Drink Federation has launched an organics forum to monitor developments in the rapidly growing organic sector at a national and international level. FDF director general Sylvia Jay said: "Organic food is no longer just box schemes and health food shops, it is now a mainstream global market. "We have found interest in this new group not only from our existing members who are branching out into the organic market, but also from some of the original pioneers." {{NEWS }}