SWFC’s Anna Heaton has been working with Philip Bromwich and his son, Charlie, at Philip’s Farm since 2005
Philip’s Farm is a 332-ha organic mixed farm, near Stockerston in Leicestershire. The land is predominantly permanent pasture with some arable cropping, and is split across several sites; some owned and some under FBT or other management agreements.
All the land is certified organic or in conversion. Philip was an early convert to organics, with the home farm entering conversion in 1998. The main output from the farm is organic beef, sold to a major UK retailer. They also manage a flock of organic Texel and Jacob sheep, although most lambs are sold to local non-organic markets.
Organic Certification Requirements
One of the main pieces of work done by SWFC at Philip’s Farm is ensuring all requirements for organic certification are met. This involves ongoing work throughout the year as the main liaison between the farm and their Certification Officer, dealing with general technical questions, as well as handling derogation and restricted practice requests, as necessary.
SWFC also manages the record-keeping for the annual organic inspection. As noted above, this is a farm business with multiple sites, with a mix of organic and in-conversion land. Some of the in-conversion land is in first-year and some in second-year conversion, and there are different allowances as to how much annual intake organic animals can have from each. Records and plans for management, feeding and treatment of the beef cattle and sheep also need to be kept up to date. As well as the suckler breeding herd, the Bromwiches regularly buy in organic store cattle from different organic markets, so ensuring all the livestock transfer documents and source farm certificates are filed can involve quite a lot of work.
The aim of SWFC’s Pre-Inspection Service is to make the organic inspection goes as smoothly as possible.
Anna is there on the organic inspection day each year with the aim of ensuring that whatever the Organic Inspector asks for is immediately available to hand. This makes the organic inspection a far better experience for everyone involved – and helps reduce any potential non-compliance issues.
Can We Help?
SWFC’s aim is to have an ongoing relationship with farmers like Philip so we know the farm, the livestock and the field management and can help keep everything up to date. If you find that you dread your organic inspection, and the days in the run-up to it are a mad rush to assemble paperwork, perhaps you should give us a call!
Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our services for your farm. Visit our Contact Page.