The growth in demand for UK organic beef could provide opportunities for domestic beef producers is the message highlighted in a new report published by the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF).
Entitled 'The UK Market for Organic Beef', the report has facts and figures on organic livestock numbers, beef production, consumption and imports with forecasts made to 2010.
There are also sections on production systems and key cost components and a section showing some of the major issues for consumers.
"We estimate that there is scope for an additional 15 -20,000 head of cattle per annum to supply the market by 2010," said Martin Grantley-Smith, RMIF's general manager.
"However, producers need to be fully aware of the 'realities' of the limited overall size of the potential market and the higher costs of production than for conventional beef," he added.
Phil Stocker, head of food and farming for the Soil Association, said: "This publication gives an invaluable insight into the future of the market for organic beef.
"The findings are important for existing organic farmers and will also give guidance to many other farmers who may be looking at the options of becoming organic.
"There is no doubt that organic beef production is presenting opportunities for UK cattle producers."