Britain’s organic food producers and processors could be facing an uncertain future if the Britain voted in favour of a Brexit in June.
Organic licencing body, OF&G said being part of the EU gives organic businesses direct access to the world’s second largest organic market, which is worth in excess of €26 billion (£20.5 billion).
If the UK voted in favour of a leaving the EU, organic businesses may face trade tariffs as well as the possibility of sterling losing value, which would make some raw materials and ingredients more expensive to import.
Not only that, leaving the EU could cut UK producers off from ’influencing the on-going development of EU regulations while continuing to have to abide by them if they wish to access European markets,’ the licencing body said.
Chief executive of OF&G, Roger Kerr said: "Organic is a strong and growing sector across Europe, and we have concerns about whether the opportunities this presents will be so freely available to UK businesses if the UK were to leave the EU."
While any benefits to the organic market on leaving the EU were yet to be heard, Mr Kerr said he was keen to understand what they may be.
The organic sector had not been given any guarantee that it would not be overlooked by UK policymakers in post-Brexit world, Mr Kerr added.
He said: "Without some clear vision as to what faces UK organic business were we to leave the EU, leaving one of the world’s largest organic markets does present risks.
"Over 50 per cent of shoppers buy organic products each year in a market worth £2bn in this country."
Ahead of the referendum, Mr Kerr said it was important that Defra give a clear statement that leaving the EU would not impact on the UK’s organic food and farming sectors.
"This is an important market to retailers and consumers and it is important that Defra remains committed to organic production and to helping organic businesses thrive were British voters to decide to leave the EU.
“We would certainly welcome some sober-minded approaches and clarification about what the future of British organic food and farming would be both inside and outside the EU.”