Supporting organic farming for a better world

Celebrating 40 years of organic research

When the ORC was founded, as Elm Farm Research Centre, forty years ago it was done so with a pioneering spirit and a genuine desire to push the boundaries and discover how organic farming practices could be incorporated into UK agriculture. Find out how we are celebrating our anniversary here


Who we are

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is the UK’s leading independent organic research organisation.

From climate emergency to food security, the way we farm is key to solving some of the biggest issues facing us today. Changes in our agricultural practices have never been more needed. If we continue intensive farming, we will be responsible for the continued decline of many species, including pollinators, soil organisms and the natural enemies of pests. Habitats will continue to be degraded, and pollution levels will rise.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Our in-the-field research and knowledge exchange activity enables the transition to naturally healthy and resilient farming systems. We build evidence and understanding of the positive impact of organic and agroecological farming, and practical information to help farmers and growers do it better.

Our research

Over the last forty years, our research and knowledge exchange has helped to change the future of food and farming.

Help and advice for
farmers and growers

Need help converting to organic or farming more sustainably?
Like advice on managing an organic farm?
Want a copy of the Organic Farm Management Handbook?


Why we do it

our work

The organic sector has made huge progress, but there’s so much more to discover and learn. Support our research and you’ll help change the future of farming to protect future generations and save our planet.


Make a donation

Helen Chesshire

"As the interest in agroforestry from land managers grows, the ability of the ORC to provide answers which are relatable to practical situations is valuable and supports the work of theWoodland Trust’s ‘Trees for your Farm’ scheme. We really value your expertise and your knowledgeable friendly staff."

Helen Chesshire, Lead Farming Advocate, Woodland Trust

Ian Tolhurst

"Working with ORC on a number of horticultural trials, including most recently using woodchip for soil health has been a delight. The great, knowledgeable staff bring a relevance to on-farm trials work. I have gained a better understanding of systems of soil health and fertility and am getting increasingly interested in our earthworm populations."

Ian Tolhurst, Owner, Tolhurst Organics

Andrew Trump

"The work done by ORC for arable producers over the years has been fantastic. Their work assessing cereal phenotypes is a consistent point of reference for organic farmers and has been undertaken without any commercial bias which makes it particularly important."

Andrew Trump, Managing Director, Organic Arable

David Wilson

"The ORC was instrumental in establishing the Duchy Home Farm 35 years ago. They gave us the confidence to farm in a new way without chemicals that was way ahead of its time and we have continued to look to them to guide our direction of travel and challenge our thinking."

David Wilson, Farm Manager, Duchy Home Farm

Sophie Alexander

"I wouldn’t have been able to convert so successfully without the research, help and support of the ORC."

Sophie Alexander, Organic Farmer, Hemsworth Farm

Latest research

Explore our research projects – past and present


Helpful resources

Bulletins, technical guides,
handbooks and more


News, blogs and events

Field days, blogs, workshops, conferences & online events


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