Rule change alters feed laws

Poultry and pig producers need to start giving animals at least 95% organic feed when new European rules kick in this year.

From 1 January, the percentage of non-organic feed allowed in pig and poultry rations falls from 10% to 5% of the agricultural ingredients, calculated on a dry matter basis.

Stephen Clarkson, Organic Farmers & Growers’ certification manager, said: “This latest reduction is part of the drive to continually improve organic standards in line with the organic ethos and consumer expectations. It is an important step and takes the pig and poultry sectors closer to the existing position for ruminants, which are already at 100% organic/in-conversion feed.”

A spokesman for the organic control body added that while the cost of feed would probably go up because of the higher percentage of organic matter, it was not clear whether any extra costs would be passed up the chain. “It’s an important move towards full provenance,” he said.

The final move to 100% organic/in-conversion rations for pigs and poultry will take effect at the beginning of 2012.