Full project title:Sustainability Training for Organic Advisers
Contract period:1 October 2010 to 31 March 2014
Main funder:EU Lifelong Learning Programme
Contact staff at ORC:Dr. Bruce Pearce
Other staff involved:Mark Measures, Phil Sumption, Susanne Padel
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, ORC’s 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. ORC’s 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 roleORC 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
- Knowledge Centre for Agriculture, Danish Agricultural Advisory Service (DAAS), Denmark
- Bioland Beratung GmBh, Germany
- FiBL, Switzerland
- BioAustria, Austria
- IFOAM EU Group, Brussels
- Louis Bolk Institute, The Netherlands
- Pro-Bio Association of Ecological Farmers, Czech Republic
The STOAS Memorandum
The training courses (PDF 474KB) on farm sustainability assessment concepts and practices were held in 2013.