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Converting to Organic

Checklist for Converting

Once deciding on conversion a farmer should:

  • Try and get some free advice from an advisory body.  In Scotland, the organic helpline is currently provided by SRUC, and funded by the Scottish Government.
  • Choose an appropriate certification body based on the nature of the business and intended markets.
  • Think hard about why you want to go into organic farming. What are your objectives?
  • Study the organic standards, and make sure that the economic implications of converting to organic are understood.  You may have lower input costs, but higher labour costs.
  • Look at other, local organic farms, what are they doing and how successful are they?
  • Have a traditional mixed organic farm, or specialise in one particular type of farming?
  • Be prepared to pay for extra advice and help, particularly if you want to develop a more unusual business.
  • How should you convert?  Can you afford to convert all at once? A phased conversion is essential from a cash flow point of view for most businesses.

Once deciding on conversion a food processor should:

  • Carry out detailed market research and be prepared to pay for expert advice to ensure that your products have a market and are likely to make a viable business.
  • Choose an appropriate certification body.
  • Study the organic standards, and make sure that the economic implications of converting to organic, in terms of processing, packaging, and distribution costs are understood.

Organic Helpline

Contact your local consulting office for further assistance.

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