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Developing the Infrastructure for Organic Farming in Wales -Project Evaluation – January 2000 – December 2001

Lampard, Jenny and Porter, Colin (2001) Developing the Infrastructure for Organic Farming in Wales -Project Evaluation – January 2000 – December 2001. Cambrian Organic Group.

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Summary

The Objective 5b project ‘Developing the Infrastructure for Organic Farming in Wales’, of which the Cambrian Organic Group (COG) is a major component, has been running with European financial support for two years. It continued the work of the original Objective 5b project ‘Developing Organic Farming in the Uplands of Wales which ran from October 1996 to September 1999. The present project has communicated, consulted and worked with it’s 2,700 members through organic producer – led committees, events, representation at events, questionnaires and a bi-monthly newsletter.
On behalf of the membership, around 70 evening meetings and farm walks have been held, by COG alone, throughout Wales. These have covered many subjects – technical and subjective, from pigs to permaculture, managing grasslands to marketing organic produce.
Other projects have also provided, and continue to provide opportunities for farmers to learn more about organic farming. These include the Organic Centre Wales who run the Organic Demonstration Farm Network as part of the WDA Objective 5b project and Technical Training Day initiative on behalf of both the 5b projects. , Other activities in Wales include Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS). COG and projects such as these have worked closely to provide relevant information on organic farming and a comprehensive, on-going diary of events.
This report details feedback from a questionnaire, and ‘Focus on the Future’ meetings held with COG producer members on the support available to them in Wales. The questionnaire involved working with the Organic Centre Wales to include questions on other support projects, run by the Centre. At the same time a questionnaire on the Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS) was conducted.
Results of the COG questionnaire survey show that farmers whatever their stage of interest in organic farming, appreciate the range of opportunities offered to them. They hope to see many of the projects continue in some form, and for new support to be established.
As producers, members would like to see more localised events, with a smaller ‘group focus’. Events not only provide information, they also act as places to exchange ideas, experiences and develop farming relationships.
There is strong support for the continuation of the only Wales-wide organic information Newsletter– The Cambrian Organic Group Newsletter. This provides up-to-date information on organic standards, support and developments, as well as the ONLY organic -Wales-oriented resource for organic farming adverts and event information.
Members would like guidance on, and financial investment into developing organic processing facilities and marketing opportunities in Wales. This will add value to Welsh produce, in Wales and provide producers with opportunities to sell their food locally. Members would also like administration support and advice on where to go for information and grants.
On the consumer side farmers want to encourage and support the raising of public awareness of the value of organic farming.
There is a need for support to maintain and develop Wales’ already strong organic -producer voice. Wales is clearly valued for its distinct culture and physical attributes, and this, with its strong organic voice should be appreciated and cultivated.
As the following report demonstrates those interested in organic farming are considering the support they require, and also looking at the whole picture of organic production, this is literally from farm, to fork - from producer to processor to retailer to consumer.


EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:infrastructure, opportunities, support
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Surveys and statistics
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Research affiliation: UK > Soil Association
UK > Other organizations
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Organic Centre Wales (OCW)
UK > ADAS
European Union
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:10824
Deposited On:19 Jun 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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