About DARCOF II
Research in organic farming must include consumer and society demands to organic products and production methods and research must contribute to the development of organic farming based on the values that are incorporated in the organic principles.
The emphasis in DARCOF II is therefore laid on the development of sustainable production systems, which in themselves build on active promotion of nature, environment, animal welfare, food quality, etc. The aim is that the organic principles can be recognised in the organic products, which thereby stand as real alternatives to conventional products.
Goals of DARCOF II
The remit of DARCOF II is to produce knowledge that can support increased production and a closer relationship between the inherent and organic qualities of organic foods. The objectives are to provide information on:
1. Effective and rational organic production methods
2. Inherent quality, including:
- the content of nutrients (primary and secondary constituents)
- food safety (freedom from such undesirable compounds as pesticides, residues of medicines, mycotoxins, zoonoses)
- the standard of manufacture and other traditional parameters of quality
3. Organic quality, including:
- reduced environmental pressures (nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticides, GMOs, residues of medicines, etc.)
- higher quality of nature (diversity, variety, and harmony in primary production)
- higher levels of animal welfare (harmony, natural behaviour and needs, and animal care)
- other organic principles (nearness, recycling philosophy, precaution and prophylaxis)
Organic farming is based on a holistic view that includes ecological, economical and social sides of the agricultural production. DARCOF II therefore focuses on projects that are oriented towards whole solutions and where the research is conducted in dialogue with the users. Priority was given to projects that describe general causal connections, which can give a basic understanding of processes and management mechanisms in organic farming. The projects are divided into five main areas:
I. Plant production
II. Animal Production
III. Agriculture and society
IV. Research facilities and workshop sites
V. Coordination, synergy and education
Within plant production the projects treat plant production systems, utilisation of nutrients and quality and safety of food. Within animal production the projects are about production systems, health, welfare and quality and safety of food. In the area of agriculture and society projects deal with consumer demand and trust in organic foods, legislation, economy, quality of nature and the importance of organic produce for human health. Projects within theme IV and V are practical frame projects that enable research in the other projects. Activities in these projects make up permanent facilities and activities within DARCOF.