ORC at BioFach 2014Category: News
20 March 2014
OrganicDataNetwork coordinator Raffaele Zanoli
This February ORC attended BioFach, the world’s leading trade fair for organic products, held in Nuremburg, Germany. The event celebrated its founding 25 years ago, with more 2000 exhibitors on an area of over 40.000 square meters in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. As every year, forums and scientific sessions were held parallel to the exhibition during the three day event, aiming to inform on newest research outcomes and interactively tackling critical questions, closing with the BioFach Science Day on the Friday.
The OrganicDataNetwork project organised one of the workshop sessions. Project coordinator Raffaele Zanoli (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy) presented an overview of the OrganicDataNetwork. Project partners then presented first results of case studies carried out in six European countries. The studies analysed the current methods of organic market data collection in the different nations and assessed new approaches to improve collection and publication on a national and international basis. Anja Vieweger from The Organic Research Centre gave a first impression on outcomes of the UK case study and final results will be published soon on the ORC website.
Evaluation of the European Regulation on Organic Farming
A session on the Evaluation of the European Regulation on Organic Farming was led by project coordinator Dr Jürn Sanders (Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Germany). The session summarised the findings of the evaluation and discussed briefly the recommendations developed from the results. Anja Vieweger presented the recommendations with regards to the exceptional rules, addressing for example those that allow for the use of external inputs like conventional seed, non-organic feed or young poultry. The complete presentation can be downloaded here and the project description and final report can be found here
Sustainability Training for Organic Advisers
The results of the STOAS project (Sustainability Training for Organic Advisers) were also presented in a workshop on 15 February. Mark Measures from ORC gave a presentation on FAST (Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool), also known as the Public Goods Tool, and the STOAS memorandum. According to the STOAS memorandum;
- Organic farming is a process of development and evolution towards increasing sustainability
- Regulations and standards are useful to set a base line for marketing but have
limitations and are often a deterrent to progress.
- Farms and farmers are individuals
- Change is more effectively brought about by motivation and support
- Farmer engagement
- Farm evaluation
- Advice, information, training
- Sustainability assessment tools provide a useful way of engaging farmers in the process and identifying strengths weaknesses and opportunities.