29 August 2017
Assessing the health of your soil

GREATsoils Trial Demonstration: Tolhurst Organics

7 September 2017
NFU Organic Forum: Horticulture open day

On-farm event hosted by Andrew Burgess, Norfolk



22 August 2017
Call for Organic Innovations: Deadline extended to 1 September

Themes: soil quality, livestock systems and Innovation for sustainable diets

16 August 2017
Accelerating the transition to robust potato varieties

Dutch organic sector showing the way



16 August 2017
Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture

A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS launched


STOAS

Full project title:

Sustainability Training for Organic Advisers

Acronym:

STOAS

Contract period:

1 October 2010 to 31 March 2014

Project website:

www.stoas-project.eu

Main funder:

EU Lifelong Learning Programme

Contact staff at ORC:

Dr. Bruce Pearce

Other staff involved:

Mark Measures, Phil Sumption, Susanne Padel

Project aims

Issues relating to sustainability have always been included in the competence of many organic advisers, but increasing public awareness and demands from the supply chain require greater evidence that organic farming delivers on its claims. The use of a robust toolkit and related training will ensure greater consistency in the advice given to farmers and the implementation of this advice should satisfy the demands made by the public, government bodies and organic trading companies.

The STOAS project works with three existing tools to assess the sustainability of farms (Bioland, RISE, ORCís Public Goods (PG) Tool) and develops and runs training courses for organic advisers to use them. The three tools are very complementary, ranging from a paper based audit developed by Bioland to the RISE tool, an internet based assessment tool used all over the world. ORCís own spreadsheet-based tool takes the middle ground. Two courses are developed and tried, one for advisory service managers reflecting on the concept of training for sustainability and different tools available and the other for advisers working with the tools in the field.

ORC's role

ORC contributes to curriculum development, hosts one of the two-day workshops and develops a quality management plan to guide the appropriate management of the project and the evaluation of the courses.

Project leader and partners

Deliverables

The STOAS Memorandum

The training courses (PDF 474KB) on farm sustainability assessment concepts and practices were held in 2013.

Project outputs

STOAS was presented at BIOFACH 2014. See article here and here