The Organic Research Centre is a partner in the Innovative strategies for copper-free low input and organic farming systems (Co-free) project. The project aims to develop innovative methods, tools and concepts for the replacement of copper in European organic and low input fruit, grapevine, potato, and tomato production systems.
Organic production requires novel, robust cultivars especially for crops such as apples, grapes, tomatoes and potatoes which are very disease susceptible and are often protected by spraying with copper compounds. One key strategy, to reduce copper use, is the introduction of resistant cultivars. However, previous studies have shown that the introduction of novel cultivars often meets substantial obstacles as retailers’ and/or consumers’ awareness has to be generated in order to open the market. Resistance is an important issue for farmers but not immediately appealing for consumers as they are hardly aware of the fact that current cultivars are not always robust.
In a new 6-page brochure key obstacles and opportunities for introducing disease-resistant apple and potato cultivars to the market are described. Four case studies are used to describe ways these obstacles can be overcome. Download the brochure here (1.54mb pdf file)
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