23 October 2019
Soil nutrient management

A workshop with Mark Measures

21 November 2019
Agroforestry event in Melton Mowbray

A Win Win for Farm productivity and the Environment

15 October 2019
Integrated Pest Management decision support systems

ADAS lead new online platform for farmers and advisors

28 September 2019
Finding from LIVESEED farmers survey available

What is encouraging or discouraging farmers to use organic seed in the organic supply chains?

21 March 2019
In adversity, what are farmers doing to be more resilient?

Opportunities, barriers and constraints in organic techniques helping to improve the sustainability of conventional farming

Delivering the goods: for the consumer and society

Despite the market and weather challenges, many producers and food businesses remain convinced that there are real benefits to the organic approach, for their businesses and for society.
Nic Lampkin (ORC): Chair

Speaker presentations and abstracts

Philip Cook and Becky Jam (Coombe Farm): Building a sustainable organic dairy system with a retailer

We have been involved in organic dairy farming and organic food manufacture for 20 years and our first-hand experience has given us a practical insight to the problems and opportunities. We have worked alongside a major retailer, developed their organic proposition and are responsible for planning to meet future requirements. Having our heritage in traditional Somerset cheesemaking, our history of self-sufficiency and balancing has always been an integral part of our business and organic farming brings values to our farmers and products that we relate to and believe in. The communication of the value of the proposition is a challenge that has not been fully met and will heavily influence the fortunes of the organic sector.

John Pawsey (Shimpling Park Farms): Challenges and benefits of organic production from an arable farmer’s perspective (5MB)

I discuss the agronomic challenges of organic including weeds, diseases and pests of our crops, how we increase and maintain fertility on the farm and some solutions. I question where current organic research is leading us. I also talk about the need to reintroduce livestock into my system to address agronomic pressures. I discuss the challenges of the market as well as marketing and question whether or not we are giving the message that the public wants about what organic farming delivers and suggest that we need strong and new leadership to guide us down that route. I then discuss the real benefits of organic farming, firstly for business including the freedom that farming organically delivers to a business. I then discuss organic benefits for consumers which is based on the feedback we have had from the many farm walks we have had on the farm, and finally I discuss organic benefits to society which focuses on the long term responsibility to our soils

Kate Collyns (Grower): Challenges and benefits of organic production from a grower’s perspective (2MB)

2012 has been an Annus Horribilis for many growers: dreadful weather, dreadful slugs, dreadful recession. Organic still seems to be out of favour in the mainstream media too; fortunately many direct customers have stayed loyal and they are the ones who really appreciate the benefits of local, sustainable food. Kate offers her personal account of her experiences as a new grower, and why she believes that 2013 can present organic growers with a number of opportunities.