£450 per hectare (ha) per year, for up to 3 years.
Where to use this option
Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier
land registered as ‘in conversion’ with a Defra-licensed organic control body
parcels that are managed primarily for the production of top fruit (such as apples, pears and plums) and permanent bush crops (such as gooseberries and redcurrants)
orchards fully stocked at the appropriate spacing for the species and variety of fruit tree or bush
Where this option cannot be used
on parcels that have previously been registered with an organic control body by the applicant
on parcels for which the applicant has previously received conversion aid
on orchards that are used for the production of alcoholic drinks
on orchards that are not in commercial production
How this option will benefit the environment
Helps recently planted and traditional standard orchards (and permanent fruit or berry bushes) convert to organic management.
If successful there will be an increase in the overall land area registered as organic, providing a range of environmental and public benefits.
follow the conversion plan agreed with an organic control body for the land and any associated stock
comply with organic standards from the start of organic conversion to the end of the agreement
make sure that all land has completed conversion and is registered as ‘fully organic’ before the end of the agreement
protect trees to prevent damage from livestock and wild animals
manage tree guards to prevent any damage to growing trees
keep a 1m diameter circle around the base of all newly planted trees clear of vegetation for at least 3 years after planting
Applicants will have to send with their application:
conversion map showing planting spacing and species within orchard - this can be marked on any map including the Farm Environment Record (FER)
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:
sales receipts for fruit crops - submitted with the annual claim
copies of fruit sale receipts to show that the orchards are in commercial production and not used for the production of alcoholic drinks
either a copy of the conversion plan agreed with the organic control body or, if not available, a fully completed viability plan
Agreement holders who have undertaken a viability plan with their application must start their organic conversion process and submit a copy of the conversion plan (agreed with the organic control body) if requested.
All agreement holders will need to supply a valid organic certificate and schedule for all the parcels entered into this option on their annual payment claim if requested.
RPA will not request the above information if you have already supplied it for a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claim.
You should also be aware that at the start of each claim year, a percentage of agreement holders will be asked to take and submit the following photographic evidence: