LONDON, April 12 (UPI) -- Organic farmers in Britain are feeling the effects of the economic downturn, as cash-strapped customers decide that food grown without pesticide is a luxury.
The two largest groups certifying organic food said about eight farmers are dropping out of the program each month, The Guardian reported. The National Farmers Union said a number of others are forced to continue producing organic food because they have received subsidies they would have to repay if they leave within five years.
The Soil Association, which certifies about 80 percent of Britain's organic produce, reported this week that sales dropped in 2008. The downturn came after a five-year period of rapid growth.