Objective 1: To identify and valorise contentious inputs currently used in European organic agriculture.
We will identify the use and the cost-benefits of contentious inputs currently used in European organic agriculture, in a comprehensive detailed overview. This will be done through interviews with stakeholders (conventional and organic farmers, certification bodies, organic suppliers and manufactures, campaign groups, citizen-consumers). This state-of-the-art analysis will include all types of contentious inputs identified by stakeholders – not only those specifically mentioned in the call. In addition, all relevant farming enterprises will be covered (including perennial crops, arable crops, greenhouse crops, animal production and agroforestry).
Objective 2: To provide specific technical solutions to minimise or phase-out contentious inputs.
We will deliver solutions depending on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of each alternative. We will focus on topics raised in the call text but also address other important issues. These will include alternatives to copper and mineral oils for plant protection, alternatives to synthetic vitamins, pro-vitamins and antibiotics in animal husbandry and the replacement of straw and manure from non-organic farms, blood, horn and bone meal, peat growing media and plastic mulches in organic horticulture. We will do this in three large dedicated workpackages. The solutions might be direct replacement, new developments (such as improved decision support systems), and system approaches. All trials conducted to test alternatives will be co-designed with multi-actor stakeholders.
Objective 3: To provide sustainability assessments of the implications of the phase-out of contentious inputs.
We will deliver environmental, social and economic assessments to compare the sustainability and agronomic performance of alternatives to current practices. These will be used to provide scenario models and pathways involving the economic, social and environmental consequences of the phase-out, including trade-offs and win-win scenarios across the EU and near-neighbouring countries. To achieve this, we will use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA), Social Return on Investment (SROI) and Response-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE).
Objective 4: To disseminate and broker knowledge, ideas and results to maximise impact.
We will include stakeholder views and suggestions from the very beginning of the project. We will determine how stakeholders view contentious inputs, which alternatives inputs farmers want to be tested and which pathway scenarios policy makers want to be modelled. Using this participatory approach will address critical questions along the way leading from invention to implementation. Dissemination and knowledge brokerage includes policy briefings and dialog, peer-reviewed academic and applied publication of the results in word, picture and video format.