The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PCF) has announced initial funding of £200,000 for the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme, which will be delivered by the Soil Association in partnership with Duchy Originals from Waitrose, with ORC as the lead research partner.
The new Programme will involve farmers across the country in developing innovative techniques aimed at improving yields and nutritional performance in organic and low-input agriculture. At its heart will be a network of on-farm events, led by farmers and growers, where they can share their know-how, work with scientists to design field experiments, and pinpoint practical challenges. These will shape the priorities for a new research fund, which will target key barriers to sustainable farming and food systems. One of the key aims of the Programme will be to help farmers make the best use of renewable resources and sustainable management techniques in order to build soil fertility and control pests and diseases. The Programme will focus on ecological farming, especially approaches that reduce farmers’ reliance on expensive inputs. It will therefore be particularly relevant to producers who farm to organic standards, yet open to all.
ORC will support the programme with research dissemination activities and support for participatory research, including through its Participatory Research and Demonstration Network.
The money for the new Programme will come from the company’s profits, which are donated every year to charity. This year, record sales of Duchy Originals products means more than £2 million will be distributed to charitable causes and related initiatives.
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