40 years of industry-leading organic research celebrated

Originally established as the Elm Farm Research Centre in 1981, over the last forty years the organisation has delivered pioneering research that has helped transform the organic sector in the UK and beyond. During this time, it has collaborated with some of the world’s leading scientists on applied research into issues as diverse as agroforestry, wheat populations & genetics and public goods assessments.

In addition, ORC has worked with farmers in converting to organic production and helped them to access value-added markets, supporting the formation of organisations such as OMSCo and Organic Arable. It has also created innovative information hubs such as Agricology to share research widely across the industry and has influenced policy, helping ensure that Defra supported organic production within environmental stewardship schemes.

Commenting on the milestone, Lucy MacLennan, ORC Chief Executive, said:

“This year is a pivotal one for British agriculture, as we adapt to life post-Brexit and an agricultural policy framework focused on delivering environmental benefits. Low input and regenerative agriculture have become buzzwords in recent times, but our work doesn’t just seek solutions for low input agriculture, we wish to push the boundaries by exploring no input agricultural practices to deliver truly sustainable food production for the whole agricultural community.

“We’ll do this by leading change in nature-positive farming, bringing new thinking to the mainstream, empowering people to embrace different agricultural approaches and by demonstrating the economic as well as environmental benefits available. By working together with our partners, industry stakeholders and the farming community, we’ll deliver the transition to naturally healthy and resilient farming systems that is needed for British agriculture to flourish in the coming years.”

See also ORC’s 40th anniversary hub

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