from Nick Powell, Cirencester
Sir; Clive Beddall's article on organic farmer Helen Browning (The Grocer, May 24, p38) promotes the idea that organic farming is competitive in today's food industry. I strongly disagree.
An important factor Beddall does not discuss is organic farmers' business objectives. Their priority is to enhance the surrounding environment. Profit is secondary.
From an environmental perspective, organic methods of production are the most acceptable. From a business perspective, the organic industry contributes to the expansion of the British food industry on a much smaller scale than conventional production. The article highlights the limitations of the organic market. Browning states organic consumers won't just chuck something into the microwave.
The past five years have seen exponential growth in convenience and snacking. If the organic sector does not serve this demand, surely its future is questionable?
Browning calls organic "the base line on which to build". If organic practices were adopted, where would the industry will be 100 years from now? The answer is as it is now, with no further progression.
I am at an agricultural college in the UK. There are only two individuals enrolled on the organic degree course, despite an organic market being established in the UK for over 10 years. A good representation I feel of an organics industry that is fading.

Sceptics beware Mr. Beddall? I fear not Sir.

there are only two individuals enrolled on the organic degree course. Despite an organic market that has been established in the UK for 10 years I feel it is fading. Sceptics beware Mr Beddall? I fear not sir.