3 December 2019
iSAGE training course and workshop

Innovations to improve sustainability in the sheep and goat sector

18 May 2020
5th European Agroforestry Conference

Nuoro, Sardinia. Call for abstracts



4 November 2019
Calling all UK Sheep farmers!

Survey on breed distribution and management

31 October 2019
Proceedings of the European Conference on Crop Diversification

Abstracts, presentations and workshop reports now online



21 March 2019
In adversity, what are farmers doing to be more resilient?

Opportunities, barriers and constraints in organic techniques helping to improve the sustainability of conventional farming

Research and development

Recent articles

ORC’s research programme focuses on organic/agro-ecological approaches to food and farming in order to:

    a) improve the productivity and sustainability of such approaches and to address key technical problems where current practice falls short of organic/agro-ecological principles

    b) Evaluate, with a view to improvement, the wider impacts of such systems, in particular the delivery of ecosystem services ; pollution, resource use and biodiversity impacts; greenhouse gas emissions and potential for climate change mitigation; food security, food sovereignty and sustainability of food systems; as well as food quality, safety and human/animal health and wellbeing.

ORC believes, and has demonstrated, that organic agricultural research should be conducted within established and well-functioning organic systems, on a scale large enough to include the range of interactions inherent within diverse agro-ecosystems. Much of the research we carry out is field-based on commercial farms reflecting the importance we place on a participatory/ farming systems research approach.

The research programme is co-ordinated by Dr Bruce Pearce and other members of the research team.

Research areas

Farmer and Business Supporters’ Group


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Plant breeding

Increasing resilience in crops through breeding and assessment of pure lines, landraces, variety mixtures and populations.

Soils and cropping systems

Developing systems and their components, including reduced tillage and cover crops, to make crop production more sustainable.

Agroforestry

Integrating trees with agriculture to increase productivity, biodiversity and other mutual benefits.

Biodiversity and agro-ecology

Understanding and enhancing the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem health to sustainable food production sytems.

Livestock systems

Developing sustainable livestock systems with a focus on nutrition, health and welfare in a whole farm context.

Environment, sustainability and health

Optimising the costs, benefits and interactions of multi-functional systems to deliver sustainable resource use.

Business and markets

Assessing the contribution of specialist markets, certification and policies to supporting financial, economic and sustainability.

Food quality and health

Understanding the concepts of health in systems and organisms and how production methods can influence health and product quality.

Research events

22 February 2012 1st Solibam Stakeholder Congress: Rome event to debate role of diversity in low-input and organic systems...

Recent articles

Calling all UK Sheep farmers!: Survey on breed distribution and management More...

Proceedings of the European Conference on Crop Diversification : Abstracts, presentations and workshop reports now online More...

100% organic conversion - GHG impacts: The greenhouse gas impacts of converting food production in England and Wales to organic methods More...

Finding from LIVESEED farmers survey available: What is encouraging or discouraging farmers to use organic seed in the organic supply chains? More...

Guidance for the marketing of biodiverse food products: New DIVERSIFOOD booklet More...

To view more articles about research and development, visit our archive.