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Organic group urges less pork and healthier diets
PETERBOROUGH (Reuters) - Britain could produce far less pork and chicken but there would still be enough food if consumers switched to healthier diets, the Soil Association said on Wednesday.
Helen Browning, the association's food and farming director said a study to be released soon showed production of poultry and pigs would fall to between 1/4 and 1/3 of current levels while wheat crops would decline by about 30 percent.
The Soil Association is Britain's largest certification body for organic food.
She told a conference organised by the Agricultural Industries Confederation that wheat supplies available for human consumption would be just as high, however, due to lower animal feed use.
Production of oats, barley and pulses was expected to be fairly stable while agricultural employment would climb by 73 percent and the use of fertilisers fall by 95 percent.
The study was conducted by the University of Reading.
Browning said there would be enough food in the system as a whole "albeit with some quite serious dietary changes some of which the Food Standards Agency (Britain's food safety watchdog) might welcome."
Browning said consumption of organic food in Britain has risen sharply in recent years but the global financial crisis could see demand flatten in the short-term.
"We are likely to see the organic market plateau for a time as people sort their finances out," she said.
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Peter Blackburn)
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