A £2m campaign to highlight the benefits of organic food is considered to be unfair on conventional farmers by Farmers Guardian columnist and farmer Guy Smith.
The 'Why I Love Organic' campaign, organised by the Organic Trade Board and part funded by EU taxpayers, invites consumers to discover what organic means by 'challenging their perceptions and discovering their own reason for loving it'. Huw Bowles, Chairman of the Organic Trade Board, says "We know people want to eat natural and great-tasting food, which is exactly what organic is."
But Guy Smith warned the campaign, which includes comments such as 'organic means better conditions for animals, was an unfair attack on conventional farmers, especially given that it was using taxpayer money.
We went on to say "I have nothing against a promotional campaign as long as it is fair and promotes farming across the board. What we have here is a campaign using taxpayers' money to pomote one method of production in direct competition against another. We should be promoting all EU farming."
Defra said it remained committed to organic farming despite announcing the closure of the Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS), which cost £160,000 last year.