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Knowledge transfer to organic fruit industry

Anon, (2001) Knowledge transfer to organic fruit industry. Henry Doubleday Research Association.

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Online at: http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data/More.asp?I=OF0311

Summary

Although consumer demand for organic fruit is strong, it is currently the least developed sector of the UK organic industry, represented by only a small number of commercial growers. One of the main constraints preventing growers becoming more involved in this sector has been the lack of technical information and guidance, resulting in very few growers having the knowhow and confidence to convert. The aim of this project was to produce technical guides for growers on two of the more important commercial fruit crops in the UK, one entitled ‘Organic Apple Production – pest and disease management’ and the other, ‘Organic Strawberry Production – a grower’s guide.’ These have now been published and the information contained within the two booklets should go a long way to meet the current lack of information on organic fruit growing for apple and strawberry crops. The guides will provide valuable information and advice for current and potential growers, researchers, advisors and colleges.
The two guides are based on previous DEFRA funded studies, ‘Organic Fruit Production; a review of current practice and knowledge’ (OF0150) and ‘Economics of Organic Fruit Production in the UK’ (OF0151). During these studies, advisory material published by the Swiss Organic Agriculture Research Institute (FiBL) was identified as a useful source of information and extensively revised and updated with relevance to UK conditions. Much additional information for this project was obtained through discussion with growers, advisors and researchers. These included fruit researchers at HRI East Malling, ADAS Fruit Team, Farm Advisory Services Team (FAST Ltd), The Soil Association, The Organic Advisory Service at Elm Farm and The Organic Soft Fruit Working Group. Upon completion, the guides were extensively peer reviewed by organic growers, researchers and advisors both in the UK and abroad.
The booklets have now been published as full colour, user-friendly guides (36 pages per guide) priced £8 each. The information contained in the booklets will also become accessible over the internet on the HDRA website. The booklets themselves will be publicised through relevant trade press and horticultural magazines together with relevant forthcoming horticultural / fruit shows.
Through the production of these fruit booklets, HDRA has established good contacts and expertise within the organic fruit industry and is well placed to continue to provide growers with further information on organic fruit crops through future collaborative projects. Following successful collaboration with the Organic Soft Fruit Working Group on the strawberry technical guide, the opportunity exists to do similar information provision for other soft fruit crops and a proposal for a further booklet on organic cane and bush fruit production has now been accepted by DEFRA (OF0311).


EPrint Type:Report
Type of Facility:Other
Keywords:fruit, knowledge transfer, crops, extension
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6672
Deposited On:27 Mar 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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