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Regional MEP Richard Howitt highlights organic farming at city butcher

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:54 17 October 2015

Richard Howitt MEP visiting Harvey's Butchers in Norwich. Richard pictured with managing director Nigel Harvey.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Richard Howitt MEP visiting Harvey's Butchers in Norwich. Richard pictured with managing director Nigel Harvey. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A move by the European Parliament will help small farmers grow organic food and avoid contamination, according to a regional MEP.

Richard Howitt MEP visiting Harvey's Butchers in Norwich. Richard pictured with managing director Nigel Harvey.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYRichard Howitt MEP visiting Harvey's Butchers in Norwich. Richard pictured with managing director Nigel Harvey. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The parliament’s agricultural committee scrapped a plan from the European Commission plan to do away with mixed farms, on the condition conventional farming activities are clearly separated.

It also backed group certification for small farmers in a bid to make their lives easier and attract more of them into the organic farming business.

East of England MEP Richard Howitt, who has thrown his weight behind the decision, visited organic butcher Harvey’s, in Grove Road, Norwich, to highlight what he sees as a boost for the region’s farmers.

He said being able to operate a mixed farm would stop small farmers being lost from the organic chain, and would encourage more to make the switch.

“A lot of people locally have been saying organic is in decline because of the recession and people can’t afford it,” he said. “But I want to fight back against that because I don’t think it’s true.

“The supermarkets are pricing their own organic food over the odds but it’s cheaper with a good quality reliable supplier such as Harvey’s.

“I’m proud that this week Europe has led the way when it comes to organic farming by scrapping plans to do away with ‘mixed’ organic and non-organic farms.

“Everyone wants to simplify EU rules as far as possible. No one wants anything that is unnecessary rules and regulations.”

Nigel Harvey, who has been in Grove Road since 1985, said he had seen a steady increase in recent years in the number of people buying organic food.

The 66-year-old butcher said: “It’s a matter of making people aware organic meat might not necessarily be that much more expensive.

“We deliberately do no put on too high a margin. I would rather sell more meat than make more profit.”

How is your business being affected by EU legislation? Call business writer Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk.

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