PRN membership launched

ORC’s Participatory Research Network (PRN) has been established to create an opportunity for producers and other businesses to engage directly in research and dissemination and to ensure that organic research in the UK is focused on the end users’ needs, a goal that ORC has followed for more than 30 years. The network aims to equip producers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage with the research process and to improve the outcomes of the research that many are already undertaking. Producers can collaborate with us on bids/projects and we can support individual or groups of producers who have similar problems and wish to undertake their own “peer-to-peer” research.

The benefits to network participants include:

  • Finding solutions directly relevant to the problems facing individual businesses;
  • Increased ability to undertake self-help research, either individually or with other like-minded producers;
  • Direct input into research activities (including funded projects as well as any other research set up as part of the network including peer-to-peer research approaches);
  • Having a say on organic research priorities to ensure that they are relevant and focused on real needs;
  • Participating in bids that ORC might be submitting to funders such as the EU, Defra, Levy companies, Technology Strategy Board, and where possible be paid for their time and resources;
  • Having early access to new research results and ideas that will help develop better systems.

How does it work? The network builds on our:

  • Current projects involving producers, including legume and cover crops for fertility building (LegLINK and OSCAR), breeding wheat and other crops (WBL, SOLIBAM, COBRA), sustainable organic and low-input dairying (SOLID), reduced tillage (TILMAN) and alternative approaches to feeding pigs and poultry (ICOPP);
  • Links with organic producer groups such as Organic Arable, OMSCo, Organic Growers’ Alliance, with producers who formed part of the ORC Demonstration Farm Network and the OAS Organic Systems Development Group, as well as other individual producers interested in research;
  • Involvement with the Soil Association-led Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme, supporting Farmer Field Labs, disseminating research findings, identifying research priorities and supporting producers with getting new, producer-led project off the ground.

This autumn, a series of research priority discussions has been initiated, which will be advertised on the Events section of our website.

Become part of it to develop your business!

Now you can link in directly to the process of developing the network. For an annual subscription of £50 + VAT (£60 total), you can become part of the Network and be supported in developing new ideas.

Members get:

  • Invitations to events to discuss research relevant to your business
  • Access to participatory research e-discussion groups
  • Opportunities to develop and participate in research projects
  • Support in finding funding and scientific expertise to work with you
  • The ORC printed Bulletin and e-Bulletin (normal price £25)
  • The Organic Farm Management Handbook (normal price £20)
  • Priority access to research reports and technical guides
  • Free or reduced-rate access to ORC events and conferences

If you are interested, you can register by making your payment on-line now, or e-mail us for further information.

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