The fund will help deliver ‘Organic Ambitions’ – the industry’s Action Plan for 2016-20, with an initial focus on developing innovative approaches to strengthening the Scottish organic supply chain.
The news comes on the back of the 2015 Organic Farming Statistics which were published on 13 June.
The report indicated that the amount of organic land in Scotland fell by 7% in 2015, from 136,000 hectares to 126,000 hectares, and is now the lowest area since the 1990s, while the numbers of cattle, pigs and poultry that are certified organic have increased.
The Organic Ambitions Fund for the financial year 2016/17 will opend to applicants on Monday 13 June and will support one or more winning applications that can develop existing relationships within the organic supply chain and can identify and address critical gaps, and can demonstrate a proven track record of successfully developing, coordinating and delivering projects.
The deadline for applications is Friday 1 July 2016.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“The supply and demand of organic food has a significant role to play in driving forward Scotland’s rural economy, whilst contributing to protecting the environment. The Scottish Government is committed to developing this sector which is why I’m delighted to support it with the Organic Ambitions Fund. The aim is to strengthen and promote Scotland’s organic food and drink supply chain through better partnership working.
“Organic spend in Scotland increased by 2.6% between February 2015 and January 2016, and around £52.6m was spent on organic food and drink products in Scotland in the year up to 31 January 2016. There is clearly evidence of strong demand and potential to boost the rural economy, whilst at the same time enhancing Scotland’s already stellar reputation for quality food and drink. I hope that this funding will help to improve on these statistics.”