Sustainability Training for Organic AdviserS (STOAS) is a new Danish-led, EU-funded project in which ORC and IOTA are working with partners in a number of European countries including also Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and Austria. The primary purpose of the project is to develop specific training for organic advisers based on sustainability assessment tools developed by members of the project consortium. This will involve the development of appropriate curricula aimed at both new entrants and experienced advisers followed by the delivery of workshops.
At the recent kick-off meeting in Denmark project partners agreed the division of the tasks, the tools that will be involved (including the ORC Public Goods assessment tool) and the timetables for curriculum development and workshop delivery. ORC will contribute to curriculum development, host one of the 2 day workshops and develop a quality management plan to guide the appropriate management of the project.
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.
A STOAS project page for the ORC website is under development and will be linked from this item as soon as it is available. In the meantime, contact Roger Hitchings or Mark Measures (IOTA) for further information.
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