Food and farming representatives discussed the launch of an organic action plan with DEFRA this week. The meeting included representatives from The Soil Association, the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium. The plan follows the government's promise to invest in tripling organic cultivation by 2006 and will examine how the organic sector will con-solidate growth and plan for the future. A spokeswoman for the Food and Drink Federation welcomed the plan. She said the FDF had encouraged DEFRA to accommodate the future findings of the Commission on the Future of Farming and Food at the meeting and had suggested a separate unit for organic food production. She said the FDF also stressed the need to safeguard organic food standards by harmonising the criteria demanded by different certification bodies. And it called for reduced reliance on imported raw materials for food products. But a spokeswoman for the NFU cautioned: "There should be viable markets for organic producers if we are to talk of targets for conversion to organic production." {{NEWS }}