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SOLIBAM Sustainability Assessment meeting

Category: News
15 February 2013

SOLIBAM Sustainability Assessment meeting

The Organic Research Centre hosted the 2013 annual meeting for the Ecological, Economic and Social Sustainability Assessment work-package of the Framework 7 Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and Management project.

Early results from the Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Energy evaluations of 11 farming systems across Europe were presented. They illustrated the potential of sustainability assessment to identify areas for improvement on-farm. For example the assessment teams identified that one of the farms assessed could significantly reduce costs and at the same time environmental impact. This could be achieved through increasing the proportion of rye flour in their bread recipe and increasing yields dramatically through the application of field drainage. 

Early results from this work-package have also illustrated the difficulties of comparing diverse farming systems, an issue that ORC continues to address through a number of its projects. 

The meeting culminated with a farm visit to one of the UK case-study farms, which provided an opportunity for the assessment teams to ask questions of the farmer and fill data gaps, in addition to providing a good example of ‘functional biodiversity’ in action.

Keywords: SOLIBAM, sustainability, farm, research

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