10 February 2015
Jersey’s organic farmers will receive a one-off extra payment this year following a decision by the Planning and Environment Minister, Deputy Steve Luce.
Deputy Luce has approved a payment of £12.59 per vergée for all organic-certified agricultural land that is farmed commercially in Jersey between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
The extra support is in recognition of concerns expressed by Jersey’s organic farmers about low market returns, the difference between government support for organic farmers in Jersey and neighbouring regions, and the subsequent need for transitional support whilst the new rural polices for 2016 and beyond are being negotiated.
Organic action plan
A review of organic farming in Jersey recommended the development of an action plan for the sector. The Jersey Organic Association, together with officers from the Department of the Environment, has drafted an action plan that will be included in a forthcoming consultation on the next rural economy strategy.
Deputy Luce said “Jersey has developed a successful organic sector but it has faced a number of challenges. One of the most significant has been a fall in demand as a result of the economic downturn.
“The development of an organic action plan will set out the next steps for the industry and its partnership with government, but in recognition of a number of factors outside of the sector’s control, we want to provide support to farmers so they can go on to build demand and grow their businesses.”
It’s estimated that the payment will total a maximum of £16,682, based on claims by commercial organic farms for approximately 1325 vergées of certified organic land.