4 January 2017
The Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017

Gathering of the UK's sustainable and organic food and farming movements

1 February 2017
11th Organic Producers' Conference

Rising to the challenge: Practical organic farming solutions for an uncertain future

22 October 2016
Consumers in the dark about GM in food chain

A damning new assessment of the UK’s top ten supermarkets demonstrated today just how far GM crops have crept unnoticed into the UK food chain.

21 October 2016
Food and Farming standards consultation

The Soil Association are updating their standards and want your views

13 April 2016
Organic farm incomes up in 2015

Organic farm profits increasing with organic dairy farming outperforming conventional

Sponsor Atul!

Our Major Donor Officer Atul Srivastava is running Bournemouth Half Marathon for us on Sunday 2 October 2016 to raise funds for the Organic Research Centre. Please consider sponsoring him and ease his pain! More...

Conference proceedings are now online

New projects at the Organic Research Centre

Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe

Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe (iSAGE) is a four-year EU Horizon 2020 project which aims to make the European sheep and goat sectors more sustainable, competitive and resilient. ORC is part of the consortium of 34 organisations from seven countries, including from the UK: the National Sheep Association, Scotland’s Rural College, AHDB and Yorkshire Dairy Goats. More...


Innovative and sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems (IFNS)to develop climate-resilient agro-ecosystems in Europe (SustainFARM) is a three-year FACCE SURPLUS ERA-Net project, funded in the UK by Defra. IFNS are systems in which trees, crops and livestock components are integrated in different ways at different scales (plot-field-farm) and include traditional and innovative agroforestry. ORC will focus on two case study farms; the traditional hedgerows and innovative silvopastoral systems on Elm Farm, Newbury, and the traditional hedgerows and innovative silvoarable systems at Wakelyns Agroforestry, Suffolk. More...

Value Added

ORC is a core partner in an 8-month DG AGRI-funded study which aims to identify and analyse the distribution of added value in the organic supply chain in the European Union. More...

Current projects at the Organic Research Centre


Agricology is a new online resource that translates scientific research in to practical advice to help farmers become more profitable and more sustainable, while protecting the environment. www.agricology.co. uk aims to provide farmers with the best practical information on ecological techniques. More...


GREATSoils -Growing Resilient Efficient And Thriving Soils is a three-year AHDB Horticulture funded project, led by the Soil Association. The project aims to evaluate and improve growers' soil assessment methods in order to optimise and maintain soil fertility and organic matter levels, benefitting yields and reducing costs. More...

Innovative Farmers

Innovative Farmers is a not-for-profit network that gives farmers research support and funding on their own terms.The network is part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme, funded by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. The Soil Association, Organic Research Centre and Waitrose have been partners in the programme and are now joined by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) and Innovation in Agriculture, ensuring that the new network represents farmers and growers across the industry.

Organic Knowledge Network Arable

The OK-Net Arable project is a three-year project, funded under Horizon 2020, which aims to improve the exchange of innovative and traditional knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe, in order to satisfy future market demand. ORC is responsible for facilitation of knowledge testing with farmer innovation networks in the participating countries and will carry out this work in the UK with organic arable farmers.

Embedding crop diversity and networking for local high quality food systems

ORC is a partner in DIVERSIFOOD a new four-year European project, funded through HORIZON 2020 and led by INRA the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, which will bring together farmers, scientists, processors, traders and consumers to promote the greater use of diverse plants and produce with a local and cultural identity. This will help to demonstrate how society can encourage sustainable agriculture, as well as promoting this concept through production and marketing. The project will work with wheat (einkorn, rivet, emmer, durum and bread wheat), oats, barley, maize, chickpea, beans, lupins, false flax, buckwheat, broccoli, tomato, carrots, onions and chestnuts.

Health networks

The main aim of the project is to create an international network of producers and scientists in order to initiate new and interdisciplinary approaches to health measurement and health research in ecological agriculture. This will ultimately serve to improve health effects in the entire food system. The second aim of this project is to identify which principles, strategies and methods organic farmers have adopted for successful health management on their farms. This will lead to the identification of best practice examples with regards to health and managing healthy agricultural systems.

Grazing cereals

Funded by the Duchy Future Farming Programme (DFF), the project Winter grazing cereals: The effects on crop-weed competition and grain yield helps to tackle the broader challenge of managing weeds without herbicide – one of the themes of the 2nd round of the DFF research fund. Black-grass is a particularly difficult to control weed that affects many farms across Britain – and is the source of much frustration for organic and conventional farmers alike! Led by innovative farmer John Pawsey at Shimpling Park Farm in Suffolk and the Organic Research Centre, this project will look at how grazing winter wheat with sheep can help control the black-grass. More...

Wheat and Barley Breeding Improvement (WHEALBI)

The aim of the WHEALBI project is to apply genomic, genetic and agronomic approaches to improve European wheat and barley production in competitive and sustainable cropping systems. This is an EU FP7 project led by Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA) from France, with 17 European partners. ORC will lead a task to identify wheat and barley ideotypes with enhanced performance under organic husbandry. We will work in close conjunction with NIAB, who will be conducting similar work under different tillage regimes.More...

Agroforestry for Europe (AGFORWARD)

The Organic Research Centre is working with 26 partners from across 23 European countries to promote agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance sustainable rural development, i.e. improved competitiveness and social and environmental enhancement. ORC will develop participatory research and development networks centred on silvopoultry systems (such as Woodland Egg producers) and silvoarable systems within the UK. We will also be collecting data from our own agroforestry research sites to model impacts on yields and ecosystem services at a field, farm and landscape scale. We will develop policy recommendations and tools for farmers and advisors.More...

Other current projects:

Sustainability assessment

Recently completed projects:

Health concepts

EU Regs evaluation