Consortium Partners

1 Coventry University CU United Kingdom
2 University of Thessaly UTH Greece
3 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA INRA France
4 Universty of Padova UNIPD Italy
5 University of Hohenheim UoH Germany
6 Aarhus University AU Denmark
7 Częstochowa University of Technology CUT Poland
8 Landbrug & Fodevarer F.m.b.A. (SEGES) – L&S L&S Denmark
9 Food and Agricultural Research Institute IRTA IRTA Spain
10 IFAPA Almeria IFAPA Spain
11 Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock MFAL Turkey
12 Association of Ecological Agriculture ETO Turkey
13 Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture NORSOK Norway
14 Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL Switzerland
15 Swedish University of Agricultural Science SLU Sweden
16 University or Parma UNIPR Italy
18 VetAgro-Sup (ABioDoc) ABioDoc  France
19 Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy ATB Germany
20 Royal Horticultural Society RHS UK
21 Soil Association SA UK
22 Forschungsring FORI Germany
23 Escola Agrària de Manresa ESA Spain
24 Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences HIOA Norway
25 University of Catania, Sicily UNICT Italy
26 Organic Research Centre ORC UK

1- CU manages the project overall, leading WP1 LEAD and WP2 IMPACT. Further contribution is to WP 3, 4, 5 and 6. CU ensures that O+ reaches its objectives successfully, and provides a lasting legacy to the organic sector in the EU and associated countries. The long-term experience of the CU-PI in practical and academic organic farming and research has made sure that a large base of associated partners from many countries and industry sectors are included in the project. The CU Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience brings in decades of experience in the organic sector and a unique transdisciplinary research approach that includes farmers, advisors and citizens in the co-creation of knowledge to maximise impact. The project is structured with 3 large topical workpackages with strong leaders and co-leaders in their fields of expertise. In addition, there are three regional clusters (Mediterranean, Central and Nordic) where academic and multi-actor partners work together. The other three WPs (1, 2 and 6) link the topical workpackages. Besides specific target audience dissemination within the topical WP (e.g. organic vegan versus pig farmers are mutually incompatible in their research interests) the consumer research, phase-out modelling, and policy and holistic system approach work holds the project together and gives room for targeted innovations to phase-out a particular contentious input.

2- UTH leads WP3 PLANT. Further contribution is to WP 5. UTH brings in long-term academic knowledge on organic growing in Mediterranean countries and with Mediterranean greenhouse, field and orchard crops. Organic research funding has been under represented in the Mediterranean for years and the inclusion of Greece, Turkey, Southern Italy and Southern Spain is a deliberate focus of this consortium to targeted research in this large organic growing area.

3- INRA co-leads WP3 PLANT. INRA is a leading agricultural research organisation in Europe and the world and has a long-established research network in Northern Europe on organic field crops (France, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden). INRA also contributes to WP2 IMPACT with its leading role on Agroecology in Europe.

4- UNIPD leads WP4 LIVESTOCK. Padova University is among of the oldest centres of knowledge in the world. It leads a fully established livestock research network in Italy, Southern France, Wales, England and Sweden. Southern Europe has been underrepresented in organic livestock research in the past.

5- UHOH co-leads WP1 and provides considerable input into WP5 SOIL including task leads. Hohenheim is the leading agricultural University in Germany and has particular experience in organic farming not only in its southern German heartlands but also across the world.

6- AU leads WP6 MODEL. Denmark is a leading country worldwide regarding organic farming and AU has close links to the well-developed sector in Denmark, Northern Europe and worldwide. The departments focus on engineering, operations management and system modelling is ideally positioned to provide detailed phase-out scenarios.

7- CUT contributes to WP5 SOIL including task leads. CUT is one of the top technical universities in Poland with a crucial role in regional development. Poland a leading country in organic farming in central and eastern Europe and CUT has good networks in the region and innovative novel research topics for the transition to a Bio-economy in Europe.

8- L&F contributes to WP2, 5 and 6 with several important task leads. L&F (Landbrug & Fødevarer F.m.b.A. SEGES) is a farmer-focused organisation dedicated to bringing new knowledge to organic and conventional farmers and advisors in Denmark. It works closely with universities like AU but equally with other farmer-focus and advisory organisations across Europe.

9- IRTA co-leads WP6 and has task leads on LCA. Further contribution is to WP5 with task leads on peat and chemical analysis. IRTA, based in Catalonia, is a leading government research centre in Spain and has long-term experience in the research of peat alternatives and LCA (inventory collection of agricultural processes and toxicity due to environmental pollution).

10-IFAPA contributes to WP3. IFAPA is a public institution with a research and training focus in Southern Spain, at the heart of one of Europe’s largest organic (and conventional) growing areas. It is part of the Mediterranean research network let by UTH in Greece and leads research on Cu alternatives in organic greenhouse crops in Almeria and olives in the Cordoba region of Andalusia.

11- MFAL contributes to WP3 and WP5 field trials on pepper, olive and eggplant under organic management. MFAL, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, has responsibility for agricultural research in Turkey. MFAL (and partner 12, ETO) is part of the Mediterranean research network and although Turkey is already a large organic producer its potentials for organic growth both for export to the EU and domestic markets are vast.

12- ETO contributes to WP 2, 4 and 6. Association of Ecological Agriculture (ETO) is a non-governmental organisation with the members coming from producers, consumers, processors, traders, inspectors and certifiers it works closely with partner 11 (MFAL) but also with other NGO project partners.

13- NORSØK leads WP 5 SOIL. It also contributes to WP3 and WP4. NORSOK, based in Tingvoll near the Northern Atlantic coast is a private foundation established in 1986 to develop organic farming in Norway by research and developmental work. Research focuses on marine and woody resources for the Bio-economy. Together with Norway partner HIOA (24) and associated partner OIKOS, partner 6 and 8 in Denmark and 15 in Sweden it forms a Nordic cluster within O+ to balance the Mediterranean focus and cover all pedo-climatic zones in Europe.

14- WSL contributes to WP 3 and 6. WSL is a research institute within the domain of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) providing world-class research related to macro-ecology and, in particular, statistical modelling of climate responses of vegetation and pathogens.

15- SLU contributes to WP 3 and WP 4. SLU is another world leading university in the consortium with strong industry links. Sweden has one of the largest shares of organic farming in the EU. In O+ the research will be conducted on potatoes, as part of the WP3 network lead by INRA in Northern Europe and on livestock (WP 4), researching plant vitamin sources and anti-infective and immuno-stimulatory properties of plant products together with chemical analysis and in-vitro trials of alternatives.

16- UNIPR co-leads WP4 and is part of the livestock research network. The research focus is on animal nutrition and dairy cattle diets. Organic farming is very popular in Italy both for export and home consumption but research specifically targeted to organic livestock systems in Southern Europe has been rare, hence a second university in Italy.

17- see 26

18- VetAgro-Sup (ABioDoc) contributes to WP2 and 4. VetAgro Sup, based in the Massive Central region of Southern France, is involved in organic farming for 25 years. ABioDoc is a French documentary centre specialised in organic farming. It is participating in the Italy lead livestock cluster and responsible for the dissemination of O+ results in France.

19- ATB leads tasks in WP4 and WP5. Replacing straw bedding, plastic mulch and peat with supply chain products from agroforestry is the main research focus. ATB is based in Potsdam in the East of Germany. The applied research focuses on processing agricultural biomass from agroforestry for energy and material applications processing of wood from short rotation coppices.

20- RHS contributes to WP5 with its expertise on phasing out peat and renewable growing media. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is a UK charity with 490,000 members founded in 1804 and seen by many as ‘the’ leading voice in the world when it comes to horticultural innovation. RHS undertakes scientific research to underpin horticultural advice and the website has 1.3 million users per month which is a valuable partner to help O+ disseminate results.

21- SA contributes to WP2 and WP5 with its horticultural section. The Soil Association is among the oldest and largest organic farming organisation in the world, however the charity equally works to secure healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Unique is the strategy is to enable farmers to innovate, testing and developing new approaches through farmer led ‘field labs’. This, and the SA consumer approach, are important contributions to O+ not only within the UK.

22- FORI leads tasks in WP2 and provides a link to the large German organic certification bodies, Demeter, Bioland and Naturland and their advisory networks. Forschungsring (FORI) founded in 1946 as an independent bio-dynamic research institute has shaped the organic movement for a long time in close cooperation with the Demeter association in Germany and worldwide. Together with partners in Germany (5, 19) France (3, 18) England (1, 20, 21) and Denmark (8) it forms a central and western European cluster. Its proximity to Biofach Nuremberg and the EU parliament in Strasbourg helps with the organisation of stakeholder conferences. Demeter, although well established in Germany and Switzerland as a premium organic product, has much potential to grow in other parts of Europe.

23- EAM contributes to WP2 and WP5 Escola Agrària de Manresa is a public secondary school integrated in the network of schools of the Agricultural Education in Catalonia, Spain. EAM is specialised in teaching organic agriculture and renewable energy since 1988. The school is well-known inside and outside Spain. EAM will organise an international course on controversial inputs in organic production, contribute to PhD exchanges and conduct a peat replacement substrate experiment.

24- HIOA leads the WP2 work on consumer research. HIOA or Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) is a non-profit, transdisciplinary research institute. It will conduct a large survey on consumer perception of contentious inputs in seven different European countries. This is followed by in-depth citizen juries in Norway, UK and Italy in cooperation with CU and the Italian consortium partners with the aim to research public opinion regarding contentious inputs in organic farming among loyal and new organic customers.

25- UNICT contributes to WP3 with work on citrus trees in Southern Italy. University of Catania, Sicily, analyses lab and field effects of sustainable and alternative control means against phytopatogenic fungi and bacteria under typical citrus growing conditions for Southern Europe. The aim is to study the effects of alternatives to copper and mineral oils, such as resistance inducers, biological control agents (BCAs) and vegetable extracts. This is done in collaboration with citrus orchard and nursery growers as well as with plant extract manufacturers.

26- ORC contributes to WP4 and is part of the livestock research network led by Padova and Parma universities. The Progressive Farming Trust Ltd., trading as the Organic Research Centre (ORC) is active in the United Kingdom and in Wales, which has ideal conditions for organic livestock production, although there are less organic farms then in other mountainous countries like Norway or Switzerland. ORC is the leading organic research charity in the UK and staff is well connected to the Organic Centre Wales. The research focuses on organic livestock and cropping systems and modelling and phasing out pollutants from agricultural systems. ORC has a particularly strength in on-farm participatory research.