The UK is converting land to organic at a faster rate than the EU average, new figures show.

The amount of organic land in the UK was 726,000 hectares in 2008, a 10% increase on the previous year [Eurostat]. The EU as a whole increased its organic area by 7.4% to 7.8 million hectares.

"In the UK, 4.3% of our land is organically managed, 10% up on the previous year as the public, producers and policy makers recognise the benefits organic farming brings," said Soil Association relations director Phil Stocker.