28 May 2018
Agroforestry as sustainable land use

EURAF 2018 CONFERENCE: Opportunity for farmers to attend

10 June 2018
Open Farm Sunday at Sonning Farm

We will be showcasing our trials at Reading University Crops Research Unit



22 May 2018
Organic farming: new EU rules adopted

New regulation to come into effect 1 January 2021

21 May 2018
Defra release organic farming stats for 2017

Organic land area in UK slowly increasing



3 May 2018
Stop the dock!

A new technical guide for reducing docks on farmland

Policy and debates

Recent articles

We seek to engage with and influence policy-makers at local, national and international level in order to ensure that the potential of organic/ agro-ecological approaches is recognized in relevant policy debates, including climate change, food security, biodiversity, animal health/welfare, food quality/health and agri-environmental/rural development and research and innovation programmes, and to ensure that appropriate policies are developed to reflect this.

Policy work, and engagement in debates on organic principles and related issues, is therefore an integral part of our overall programme. It links our agricultural research and advisory and demonstration activities to the political, economic and social framework in which we operate. It is also the vehicle for making our philosophy and principles – our broad aspirations – part of the mainstream political and social agenda.

The work deals with long-term fundamental questions of how to bring about a genuinely sustainable food system. In this, we aim for the goals described by Schumacher of creating methods of production and consumption “designed for peace and permanence”. A key element of this is the development of concepts and policies that can foster and support regional food economies as an alternative to the globalisation of our food system.

But we also work on the issues that impact on organic farming today. To this end we work on the impact of genetic engineering; the development of national and EU Organic Action Plans and reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; the regulatory and structural issues of plant breeding and seed production and key issues related to the development of organic standards.

We are an independent and evidence based institution. In our policy work we debunk “sacred cows” and we are prepared to “stick out our necks” as we did when we assembled the evidence to challenge the government’s “slaughter-only” policy in the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001.

Our policy work is co-ordinated by Prof. Nic Lampkin with support from Lawrence Woodward as Principal Policy Advisor and other members of the Policy team.

Policy and debates areas

Genetic engineering

Brexit

Organic action plans

Agri-environment

Climate change

Food security

Animal health

Research priorities

Organic regulations



Recent articles

Organic farming: new EU rules adopted: New regulation to come into effect 1 January 2021 More...

New IFOAM EU President: "New CAP should reward public goods": Jan Plagge, President of Bioland will replace Christopher Stopes More...

Transitions to Agroecological Systems: Farmers’ Experience: New report sheds light on how UK farming can meet the sustainability challenge More...

Health and Harmony – will a Green Brexit deliver?: Make your voice heard in Defra consultation More...

Regional organic action plans across Europe: SME Organics publishes resource manual for the organic food and farming sector More...

To view more articles about policy and debates, visit our archive.