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Selling what grows naturally becomes a growth industry

by 5m Editor
14 August 2006, at 9:05pm

UK - Organic produce has a mixed history, but farmers are increasingly returning to it as supermarkets respond to consumer demand - and the City is taking an interest.

Helen Browning was among the first to spot the opportunity. In 1984, she converted her first field to organic production. Obliged to pay rent on her Wiltshire farm to the church, Browning was under intense pressure to make a success of her venture. She could not rely on selling land to bolster income.

Today it's safe to say the risk has paid off. Browning has built up a 520-hectare (1,300-acre) farm business with sales in excess of £5m. Her own-brand sausages and bacon are available at Sainsbury. Helen Browning organic lamb and chickens win praise from notable food writers. The entrepreneurial spirit extends to fruit and vegetable box delivery schemes and food stalls at music festivals.

'I was always concerned about animal welfare and the impact farming had on the environment,' she says from her farm. 'Organic farming seemed a logical and elegant solution and enabled us to get closer to the public.'

Source: The Observer

5m Editor