Increase in Scots organic farmland and producers

The amount of organic farmland in Scotland rose slightly in 2017, the first increase since 2008, the Scottish Government said.

There was also an increase in the number of licensed organic producers and processors, up from 560 to 578, of which 371 were producers.

A total of 123,000 hectares was certified as organic farmland in Scotland.

Organic land now accounts for 2% of agricultural land in Scotland.

Grass and rough grazing, used for producing beef, lamb or milk, makes up 93% of organic land, with cereals accounting for 4%.

The number of organic cattle remained fairly constant at about 29,000, but there was an increase in the number of organic sheep — up by one third to 154,000.

About 2% of both cattle and sheep are organic.

There was also an increase in the area of organic farmland in the UK as a whole, with 3% of UK agricultural land now organic.

In Europe, organic production has been consistently increasing, with the latest available data, for 2016, showing just under 7% of agricultural land used for organic farming.