The Organic Research Centre (ORC) – the UK’s leading research organisation in this field - has been awarded two new research projects by Defra to gather robust evidence on organic farming. Both projects aim to identify how organic food production techniques can help the UK build on its position as a world-leading food and farming nation.
One of the projects will help provide an evidence base for future policy direction of organic agriculture in the UK following EU exit as well as explore the expected implications of the potential introduction of an independent organic labelling system. For this project, the ORC leads an international consortium of organisations including Organic Services (based in Germany), EcoS Consultancy (UK) and the Swiss Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FIBL). The consortium members have longstanding and complementary experience with organic regulations and the organic sector in the UK, Europe and globally. The research will review regulatory approaches controlling organic production and provisions for trade in other countries and summarise their strengths and opportunities as well as provide the franework with which to review the national organic regulations for England and Wales following EU exit. In addition, the project is tasked with exploring the organic labelling used by other countries such as the USA and Norway.
Dr. Padel (ORC) said, “We are delighted to be leading these significant research projects, which will help to create an evidence base for future policy development. Many conventional farmers in the UK are doing a fantastic job by providing high quality food and contribute to the environment, but there is always something new to learn or improve to create a robust and profitable agricultural industry in the UK. It is also framed by the Defra strategy to provide a cleaner and healthier environment benefiting the economy.”
The Seal of Excellence is a quality label awarded to projects submitted to Horizon 2020 which were deemed to deserve funding but did not receive it due to budget limits. This quality label is a guarantee for investors to find high standard projects from the European SMEs with strong feasibility and capacity of development.
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