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    Posted 20 March 2002

    THE NEXT EVENT in the Tesco Food and Farming Masterclass will address the £1 billion challenge posed by the UK retail market leader's attempt to increase the amount of organic food produced in the country.

    Tesco have announced their intention to increase their organic market to £1 billion within the next five years and have thrown down the gauntlet to British agriculture to help them achieve that goal by growing more organic food. Currently 80 per cent of Tesco's organic range is being imported.

    The one-day seminar, entitled 'Organic Food: Meeting the £1bn Challenge?' will be presented by Harper Adams University College, the UK's largest specialist institution of Higher Education for the land and food based industries, and by Tesco, with the support of the National Farmers Union.

    The seminar will be a forum in which farmers and producers can hear about and discuss issues that will shape the development of the organic market. This will include an outline of the challenges facing organic producers, increased understanding of the requirements of customers and the supply chain, understanding the role of the NFU and of certification bodies and an insight into alternatives to traditional herbicides and pesticides.

    The high profile group of speakers who will attend includes Carlo Leifert, Professor of Ecological Agriculture and Director of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Oliver Dowding, Chair of the NFU Organic Committee and Soil Association member who is an organic dairy and arable farmer.

    Richard Jacobs, Certification Manager for Organic Farmers and Growers, and Murree Groom, Director of Research for Ecospray and Breckland International, will also attend to address delegates.

    The Organic Food seminar will take place at Harper Adams' Shropshire campus on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 between 11am and 4pm and places cost just £39 per person. With the quality and reputation of the speakers attending, it is anticipated that demand for places on the seminar will be high and organisers urge people to book early to avoid disappointment.

    To reserve a place on the seminar, please contact Carole Hinks, Conference & Short Courses Manager at Harper Adams, on 01952 815 324 or E-mail:


    Notes to Editors:

    Further information on the Organic Food seminar and about the Tesco Food and Farming Masterclass in general is available from Martin Hingley, Senior Lecturer and Tesco Teaching Fellow at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, on +44 (0) 1952 815 386 or by E-mail:

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