Organic Centre Wales
Organic Centre Wales was established in 2000 with funding from the Welsh Government to act as the focal point for information on organic food and farming in Wales. Initially a collaboration between Aberystwyth University, ADAS Wales, IGER, the Soil Association and the Organic Research Centre, the present partnership operating OCW consists of the University, ADAS Wales and ORC. ORC has contributed much to the partnership with input on GM and education, delivery of events and training, and direct involvement in OCIS Wales delivery, of which was shared with ADAS Wales.
OCW has provided a single point of contact in Wales for a wide range of services to producers, processors and consumers. This provision has been significantly reduced with the loss in 2011 of core funding from Welsh Government as well as the OCIS Wales and Farming Connect Organic Development Programme contracts.
Although OCW is no longer leading Farming Connect organic work, it is registered with the current lead provider, Menter a Busnes, for the provision of technical advice on a ‘call-off’ basis.
OCW has received significant funding under the Welsh Assembly Government’s plans to improve supply chain efficiencies. The Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project is developing activity on a number of fronts. Several ORC staff have contributed to various initiatives including the preparation of 2 in-depth market reviews in organic horticulture and arable, pigs and poultry. A new project to which ORC staff are contributing is a review of the long term viability of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes. ORC is also represented on the BOBL Steering Group.