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UK Organic Pig Numbers Rise Slightly

27 June 2016

British Pig Executive

UK - Latest figures from Defra show a small rise in the number of organically farmed pigs in the UK in 2015, for the first time since 2011.

Nevertheless, at 30,000 head, the organic pig herd remains the second lowest in records back to 2003 and less than half its size at the peak in 2008.

Organic pigs continue to make up less than 1 per cent of the national herd. Latest data from the EU show that the UK’s organic pig herd was the seventh largest in the EU in 2014 but was much smaller than the herds in Denmark, France and Germany. Each of these numbered around 200,000 head and between them accounted for over two-thirds of the EU’s organic pigs.

The reversal of fortunes for organic pigs was also reflected for poultry, although, as with pigs, numbers remain well down on the mid-2000s. The number of organic cattle and sheep, however, fell further. This downward trend was also apparent in the amount of land with organic status, which reduced for the seventh year in a row, to just over 500,000 hectares.

There was also little sign of an upturn in the low area of land in conversion to organic. Most organic land is used as permanent or temporary pasture, including rough grazing.

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