On 13th October, the UK’s Organic Growers’ Alliance hosted the Organic Matters conference at Stretford Public Hall (close to Manchester). Several of our project partners were in attendance including Coventry University, the RHS and Soil Association, all of which participated in a number of sessions:
- Organic-PLUS led a workshop examining the contentious use of peat, non-organic fertility sources and their alternatives. Of the 38 organic producers in the workshop, 37 said they were already peat-free but they still highlighted future research needs such as the requirement for peat-free media that has properties suitable for ‘blocking’ (growing in blocks of growing media without plastic module trays).
- As part of Organic-PLUS and the FOOdIVERSE project, Principal Investigator Ulrich Schmutz and the Soil Association’s Hugh Blogg presented the Robust Potato Pledge, encouraging the wider use and promotion of potato cultivars bred to be resistant to diseases such blight (thus reducing pesticide use).
- Collaborative work between Coventry University and UK farmers on alternatives to plastic mulch featured in a session led by the Soil Association’s Innovative Farmers scheme.
Find out more and see recordings of the day via the Organic Matters 2021 Playlist on YouTube.