News

3rd European Conference on Copper in Plant Protection

The Organic-PLUS and RELACS projects participated to the 3rd European Conference on Copper in Plant Protection that was held in the Julius Kühn-Institut, Berlin, Germany, from 15-16 November 2018, organised by IFOAM EU-Group, BÖLW and the Julius Kühn-Institut.

During the conference, the state of play under the old EU regulation 1107/2009 and the re-approval of copper as active substance was discussed from the policy and industry perspective. In addition, the EU copper minimisation strategy for organic crops was presented and discussed.

For the Organic-PLUS project WP Plant leader Prof Dr Nikolaos Katsoulas from University of Thessaly, Greece and Lucas Knebl from Forschungsring e.V. Germany participated and presented the project to the IFOAM Conference.

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Lucas Knebl and Nikos Katsoulas

The picture below shows Nikos together with the RELACS Co-ordinator Dr Lucius Tamm.

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Lucius Tamm and Nikos Katsoulas

 

NEW – Livestock Survey

Calling all organic livestock farmers across Europe… the Organic-PLUS survey for mapping contentious inputs in organic livestock farming is now online and we are keen to hear from you.

Please click the link in your language to find further explanation and instructions. For other countries (e.g. Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greece…) please use the English version. In the English survey version you can use the auto-translate option to narrow down the meaning, but it is not a perfect translation.

For further details, on the research of the Livestock workpackage, see this recent article on the ISOFAR website.

Thank you to all of the farms that have completed it so far, some of which are listed on our Farming Partners page.

NEW ! German version: https://goo.gl/forms/saT5Sc8ptXTYSwa42

English version: https://goo.gl/forms/gqQvosdL0RAWj1Zd2

French version: https://goo.gl/forms/ay9nKmeIL8dMxhzl1

Italian version: https://goo.gl/forms/I8Ev2v5Rl3ucUTgr1

Polish version: https://goo.gl/forms/pexDBBdkXfx92hBw1

Spanish version: https://goo.gl/forms/54j2LvSiUiZbgy422

Turkish version: https://goo.gl/forms/YJuJ8QEMJnFO6jKS2

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Moo “Welcome to the O+ livestock survey”

Organic Norway and Nordvegans!

IMG_2923 Anita Land

Dr Adrian Evans and Dr Ulrich Schmutz visited two research partners of Organic-PLUS in Norway. Firstly, NORSOK the Organic Research Centre and Organic Garden (see picture of garden) for Norway in Tingvoll on the Norwegian Fjord coast south of Trondheim. Secondly, in central Oslo the Consumer Research Institute (SIFO) at HIOA, University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo and Akerhus.

Both gave presentations on CAWR and the Organic-PLUS project at the two locations and exchanged ideas about research with a non-EU member country. It was interesting to find out how a non-EU country relates to EU regulation, e.g. the EU organic farming legislation. Within the next 4 years, the Organic-PLUS project will further investigate this. In addition, the research led by our partner SIFO is into understanding organic consumer attitudes to contentious inputs like peat, antibiotics and synthetic vitamins. But also asking now new diet trends, like Nordvegans, might affect organic consumption.

 

NORSOK Tingvoll https://www.norsok.no/en/

SIFO https://www.hioa.no/eng/About-HiOA/Centre-for-Welfare-and-Labour-Research/SIFO

Nordvegan https://nordvegan.com

 

Mainstreaming Agroecology in horticultural science

At the 30th  International Horticulture Congress (12-16 August 2018, Istanbul, Turkey) organised by International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) Agroecology as a science got a big boost!

The  2nd International Symposium on “Organic Horticulture for Wellbeing of the Environment and Population” was held with a large audience. In addition, a Short Training Course on Organic Agriculture was hosteda workshop on the discussion of Soil and Soilless Organic Production Systems, and a workshop on Agroecology and Education: Socio-ecological Resilience to Climate Change. Prof. Dr Uygun Aksoy (Chair of the Scientific Committee of ISHS, and working for ETO a consortium partner within Organic-PLUS) organised them and helped to get agroecology science a bigger role in international horticulture research. With the election of Prof. Dr Yüksel Tüzel as next ISHS president the society has now a leader with deep understanding of organic horticulture.

To add to the growing role the current commission on ‘Organic Horticulture’ will be expanded and renamed ‘Agroecology and Organic Farming Systems’ (this is still within horticultural science) and more working groups on organic vegetables, organic temperate and tropical fruit and agroecology will be added to the existing working groups to respond to the rising academic and practical interest in this work.

 

Speakers at the Agroecology workshop are shown above (Left to right): Prof. Reza Ardakani (Iran), Dr. Ulrich Schmutz (United Kingdom), Prof. Beatrix Alsanius (Sweden), Prof. Martine Dorais (Canada), Prof. Uygun Aksoy (Turkey) and Prof. Maria Claudia Dussi (Argentina).

ORC

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) have joined the consortium of Organic-PLUS, the €4.1m CAWR-led EU Horizon 2020 project to phase out contentious inputs from organic agriculture led by Dr Ulrich Schmutz. The ORC is an independent research organisation for the development of organic and agroecological food production and land management approaches. As part of Organic-PLUS, ORC will be working on alternatives  to synthetically derived vitamins and antibiotics given to livestock and also on replacements for the non-organic animal bedding often used in organic systems. A participatory research design with UK organic dairy farmers will be used.
Below Researchers from Organic-PLUS partners Coventry University (CU) and the Organic Research Centre – Elm Farm (ORC), enjoying the autumn sunshine at a recent meeting at Elm Farm.

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Ulrich Schmutz, Francis Rayns, Judith Conroy, Susanne Padel, Lindsay Whistance, Sara Burbi and Marion Johnson