News

Seminar on involving citizens in deliberative processes

Adrian in Norway.jpg
Adrian Evans presenting on citizen jury research

Coventry University’s Organic-PLUS team (project manager Judith Conroy,  project coordinator Ulrich Schmutz, WP2 leader Adrian Evans and RA Dr Rosa van Kesteren) attended a seminar on involving citizens in deliberate processes at Oslo Met University. The seminar was organised on the 3rd December 2019 by Gunnar Vittersø and Hanne Torjusen (Consumption Research Norway-SIFO and Organic-PLUS partner in Norway) with an additional grant by the Norwegian Research Council.

Coventry University’s presentation was on Citizen Juries:  Enhancing our understanding of animal welfare and organic farming through science-society dialogues.

Further presentations were by:
Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University: Reeler Outreach: Minipublics
Simon Burall, The Involve Foundation: The UK experience of deliberative processes
Virginie Amilien, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO): Hybrid Forums
Erik Thorstensen, Work Research Institute (AFI): Engaging Older Adults through World Cafés.
Pål Strandbakken & Harald-Throne Holst, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO): 3rd Generation Deliberations

Further activities like a World Cafe with participants and a working session during the following day were exciting shared learning experiences with colleagues from other projects. This will shape the future citizen jury research work on contentious inputs within the Organic-PLUS project in Norway, the United Kingdom and Italy.

More factsheets added

Please check our new fact factsheets and find existing ones here:
www.organic-plus.net/factsheets 

Alternatives to contentious inputs in organic crops

0) O+ Potato factsheet (English)

Alternatives to contentious inputs in organic livestock

5) O+ Natural Vitamins (Italian)
5) O+ Natural Vitamins (Spanish)
5) O+ Natural Vitamins (Turkish)

6) O+ Natural Antiparasitics (Italian)
6) O+ Natural Antiparasitics (Spanish)
6) O+ Natural Antiparasitics (Turkish)

7) O+ Natural Antimicrobial (Italian)
7) O+ Natural Antimicrobial (Spanish)
7) O+ Natural Antimicrobial (Turkish)

8) O+ Bibliometric Analysis (English)

9) O+ Survey on Organic Livestock in France (English)
9) O+ Survey on Organic Livestock in France long version (Frensh) – Résultats préliminaires de l’enquête Organic-PLUS

Growing potatoes without copper fungicides

On 18th September Organic-PLUS partner the Soil Association ran a workshop to examine the future of growing potatoes in the UK following uncertainty around the reauthorisation of copper-based fungicide Cuprokylt. The sell-out event was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, indicative of significant interest in the topic. The first half of the workshop comprised a series of presentations examining key areas. The Soil Association gave an overview of the legislative background, providing insight on how the current lack of copper authorisation arose. A variety of solution-based talks followed including: examining blight-resistant potatoes from Agrico, biostimulant opportunities from Itaka, hands on experience of growing copper free with host Joe Rolfe and an insight into Organic-PLUS which aims to phase out contentious inputs in organic agriculture such as copper.

SA potato day Sept 2019
Organic farmer Joe Rolfe sharing his experiences of copper-free growing

The workshop culminated in an open discussion road-mapping possible future pathways in the copper debate. Opinions were divided with some growers preferring temporary licensing as a priority. The majority, however, strongly supported working quickly towards managing without copper. Four key actions were identified – 1) growers seeking temporary licensing should approach AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board); 2) the Soil Association’s Innovative Farmers scheme will collaborate with AHDB in setting up field trials to investigate potential solutions; 3) more needs to be done with retailers and packers to improve the market for blight-resistant varieties; 4) participants were invited to be involved in a working group to progress this important issue.

SA potato day Sept 2019 2
A small selection of the blight-resistant potato varieties being developed by Agrico

To find out more about the next steps, visit the Soil Association’s news feed and for more information on agroecological approaches to tackling potato blight read here.

Organic-PLUS brings together European organic databases

Organic-PLUS partner ABioDoc (Le Centre National de Ressouces en Agriculture Biologique) manages a database called Biobase which specialises in French publications relating to organic agriculture. Through the Organic-PLUS project, ABioDoc has collaborated with Organic eprints the international open access archive, to translate 24 publications concerned with alternatives to contentious inputs in organic farming into the English language. We are pleased that through this collaboration important work in French will now also be available to a wider audience in English.

 

Biobase org eprints

Plastics in Agricultural Settings

On 4th October, Judith Conroy and Dr Francis Rayns of Organic-PLUS partner Coventry University attended a meeting organised by the University of Glasgow to address the use of ‘Plastics In Agricultural Settings’ (PIAS) in the UK. Organic-PLUS is focusing on potential replacements for the fossil-fuel derived film mulches used by many organic growers but it is important that we consider the full extent of plastic use in agriculture, for example: silage tarp, twine, plant labels and clips, tree guards etc. so we will be interested to see how this work engaging growers, manufacturers, government bodies, academics and NGOs develops.

Glasgow plastics day Oct 2019
Dr Natalie Welden discussing the priorities of the project

University of Catania researchers present on Organic-PLUS

Researchers from Organic-PLUS partner the University of Catania have presented their work on the project at two recent conferences:

From 9th-11th July 2019, ‘Biocontrol 2019’ the 4th International Symposium on Biological Control of Bacterial Plant Diseases took place in Viterbo, Italy. The Italian Organic-PLUS team working on the PLANT workpackage presented early findings of their trials as a poster “Evaluation of antibacterial products for the control of Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. perforans in organic tomato farming”.

UNICT poster July 2019
Alice Anzalone and Gabriella Cirvilleri presenting their poster at Biocontrol 19

The Catania team presented again at the 5th International Conference on Microbial Diversity (MD2019) in Catania, Italy, from 25th-27th September 2019. In the poster, “Evaluation of the efficacy of biocontrol agents and cardoon plant extracts to contain green mold of citrus fruit”, promising results from the first 20 months of the Organic-PLUS project were presented.

UNICT poster Sept 2019

Open day at University of Thessaly

Members of the public were able to see the ongoing work of Organic-PLUS and other projects in the greenhouse facilities of the University of Thessaly, Greece on 18th September 2019. The Open Access Day was part of the pan-European communication campaign Europe in My Region 2019 (#EUinMyRegion). Associate Professor, Nikolaos Katsoulas, (director of the Laboratory of Agricultural Constructions and Environmental Control) and his colleagues guided visitors through the facilities including a new pilot greenhouse.

Thessaly open day 18-09-19
Associate Professor Nikolaos Katsoulas (leader of O+ workpackage 3) delivering the tour

A variety of farmers, researchers, professionals, teachers and other interested people attended. There was an emphasis on farm diversification within the framework of the circular economy and the benefits of sharing good practice to encourage networking and dialogue.

Thessaly open day 18-09-19 2

The farm is in the Valestino area, near the national road which runs from Athens to Thessaloniki and covers an area of 25 ha serving the research and educational needs of the members of the Department of Agriculture. A significant area of about 0.35 ha are covered by greenhouses.