ARCHIVE: Organic farming: Grants and funding
Financial assistance has been available for converting to organic farming under a number of schemes since 1994. These schemes have included the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS), the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme.
The current scheme is the Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) element of the new Environmental Stewardship, introduced in March 2005.
Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS)
Financial support is available for those converting to organic production under Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) of Environmental Stewardship.
Under OELS, aid worth £60 per hectare is available on all OELS eligible land entered into the scheme, but you must:
- be registered as an organic farmer with an approved inspection body
- not in an existing Organic Aid (OAS) or Organic Farming Scheme (OFS)
- deliver 60 'points' worth of management options per hectare on your OELS eligible land
Conversion aid payments worth £175 per hectare for improved land and £600 per hectare for established top fruit orchards are also available for those taking new land into conversion under the scheme.
If you are an existing OFS or OAS agreement holder with fully organic land you can gain early entry into the OELS through the schemes OFS to OELS transfer arrangements.
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) ties in with ELS or OELS options, but it aims to deliver significant environmental benefits in high priority situations and areas. The key features of HLS relevant to organic producers are:
- HLS will be combined with ELS or OELS options an payments relate to the options chosen and includes payments for capital items such as hedgerow restoration
- the agreements are for ten years with payments sent out every six months
- HLS aims to deliver significant environmental benefits in high priority situations and regions
- the scheme involves more complex environmental management
- unlike ELS and OELS entry into the scheme is discretionary. Applications go through an assessment process which takes into account how the application meets the environmental priorities identified in your local area
In addition there are other sources of funding that can help with setting up marketing outlets for organic produce.
Page last modified: 20 May 2008
Page published: 1 July 2006