The paper explores the drivers for organic farming uptake and undertakes a preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of organic farming policy against a set of 24 criteria, in a number of case study countries. Organic farming support policies were not solely responsible as external factors, such as conventional market performance and food scares, interacted with policy measures in influencing organic farming uptake rates. Organic farming schemes and measures out performed alternative agri-environment schemes in a number of criteria, such as GM traceability, natural resource conservation, diversification of farm practice and products, food quality and safety and biodiversity impacts. However, on the basis of the data it is not possible to conclude whether organic support schemes or other agri-environment support schemes perform better overall or are more cost effective
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