21 November 2019
Agroforestry event in Melton Mowbray

A Win Win for Farm productivity and the Environment

3 December 2019
iSAGE training course and workshop

Innovations to improve sustainability in the sheep and goat sector



4 November 2019
Calling all UK Sheep farmers!

Survey on breed distribution and management

31 October 2019
Proceedings of the European Conference on Crop Diversification

Abstracts, presentations and workshop reports now online



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

Policy and debates

Recent articles

We seek to engage with and influence policy-makers at local, national and international level in order to ensure that the potential of organic/ agro-ecological approaches is recognized in relevant policy debates, including climate change, food security, biodiversity, animal health/welfare, food quality/health and agri-environmental/rural development and research and innovation programmes, and to ensure that appropriate policies are developed to reflect this.

Policy work, and engagement in debates on organic principles and related issues, is therefore an integral part of our overall programme. It links our agricultural research and advisory and demonstration activities to the political, economic and social framework in which we operate. It is also the vehicle for making our philosophy and principles – our broad aspirations – part of the mainstream political and social agenda.

The work deals with long-term fundamental questions of how to bring about a genuinely sustainable food system. In this, we aim for the goals described by Schumacher of creating methods of production and consumption “designed for peace and permanence”. A key element of this is the development of concepts and policies that can foster and support regional food economies as an alternative to the globalisation of our food system.

But we also work on the issues that impact on organic farming today. To this end we work on the impact of genetic engineering; the development of national and EU Organic Action Plans and reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; the regulatory and structural issues of plant breeding and seed production and key issues related to the development of organic standards.

We are an independent and evidence based institution. In our policy work we debunk “sacred cows” and we are prepared to “stick out our necks” as we did when we assembled the evidence to challenge the government’s “slaughter-only” policy in the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001.

Policy and debates areas

Genetic engineering

Brexit

Organic action plans

Agri-environment

Climate change

Food security

Animal health

Research priorities

Organic regulations



Recent articles

Organic Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Organic can be a solution to achieving SDGs More...

Agroecological transitions: Five case studies of farmers' experiences published More...

Formal objection to GM potato crop trial: Plans for new GM crop trial raise objections from leading environmental and farming organisations More...

Agroecology and carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050: New french study on reducing greenhouse gases by transitioning to agroecology More...

What organic farming does for the environment and society: New report from Thünen Institute on value of organic farming More...

To view more articles about policy and debates, visit our archive.