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Norway: farmers are leaving organic agriculture

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Even though the market for organic farm products is expanding, many of Norway’s farmers are leaving this branch of agriculture. According to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, which reported figures from the Norsk institutt for landbruksøkonomisk forskning, for every seventh person starting organic farming, six have quit.


Turid Wenche Åsum was among those returning to conventional farming methods after she had spent seven years raising organic grain. She still tries to work her farm in an environmentally friendly way, but explained her reasons for quitting organic farming: she had to be a member of several organizations, there were too many documents that had to be filed all the time, and everything had to be monitored. It had been much more work to operate organically, and the hourly pay had been way too low.


Farmers have been encouraged to expand their organic business, and the current government has set a goal that 15 % of Norwegian agricultural production should be organic by 2015. But production has stagnated. The regulatory agency Debio stated that they were trying to secure ecological production and needed to work harder to make it attractive for the farmers.



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