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CORE Organic Defra-UK Country Report

Defra, The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (2006) CORE Organic Defra-UK Country Report. In: Lange, Stefan; Williges, Ute; Saxena, Shilpi and Willer, Helga (Eds.) European Research in Organic Food and Farming. Reports on organisation and conduction of research programmes in 11 European countries. Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE) / Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food BLE, Bonn, Germany, pp. 130-141.

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This report was provided by Defra to support the work of the partners to the Core Organic ERANET.
Its focus is the Defra Organic Farming and Food R&D programme. Other public bodies in England and Wales can support R&D relevant to the organic sector. In addition, the developed administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland support some relevant R&D within wider R&D programmes. Therefore this report should not be regarded as a complete account of all UK R&D relevant to the organic sector.
Until the mid 1980s, organic farming R&D in the UK was led by the private sector, notably the Soil Association (founded in 1946), the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA, founded in 1954) and the Elm Farm Research Centre (EFRC, founded in 1981).
In 1985/86 the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF, now DEFRA- The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs) commissioned a report on the development of the organic sector. This resulted in the establishment of UKROFS (UK Register of Organic Food Standards) an executive non-departmental public body. ACOS (The Advisory Committee on Organic Standards) superseded UKROFS and advises Ministers on matters related to organic standards. A subcommittee of ACOS provides advice to Defra on organic R&D issues and priorities.
Since 1991, MAFF and now Defra has funded an organic farming research and development programme to support the development and delivery of Government policies on organic farming.
Over the last decade, expenditure on organic farming R&D in this dedicated Defra programme has increased and currently stands at around 3 million Euros per annum.
In 2002, the Action Plan to Develop Organic Food and Farming in England was published by Defra in response to the report of the Policy Commission on sustainable farming and food led by Sir Don Curry, which recommended the development of a strategy for organic food production addressing all parts of the food chain. The Plan was reviewed by the Organic Action Plan Group and a review document Action Plan to Develop Organic Food and Farming in England - Two Years On was published in August 2004.
The strategic objective of the Defra R&D programme is to inform the development of its policies and to further the development of the sector in line with the public goods that the sector protects and enhances. Specific scientific objectives drive research on the methods, costs and benefits of conversion; identifying sound methods of production and processing, identifying and overcoming the main barriers to commercial organic production; environmental impact of organic farming; other issues relevant to the organic sector.
The aim of the programme is to deliver knowledge to improve organic farming methods and the performance of the organic sector. It also provides scientific evidence for policy makers and aids delivery of the organic action plan. Research undertaken includes assessment of agronomic and economic performance, investigations into technical barriers to production and appraisal of the impact of organic farming on the environment. The research supports policy development and decision-making, and helps inform those considering conversion to organic methods and those already using such methods.

EPrint Type:Book chapter
Type of Facility:Other
Other Type:n/a
Keywords:organic farming resarch in the UU, research programmes, reearch structures, research facilities, research communication
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Research communication and quality
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > United Kingdom
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www.coreorganic.org
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:8771
Deposited On:24 Jun 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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