27 September 2017
ORC FABS annual event

Members event at Bradwell Grove Farm, Glos

5 October 2017
LEAF Intercropping Workshop

Gloucestershire event - save the date



19 September 2017
Underutilised Crops

New Factsheet from DIVERSIFOOD project

19 September 2017
Seeing the bigger picture

The role of regulation in the development of organic food and farming in Europe



16 August 2017
Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture

A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS launched

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 with support from our Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. Martin Wolfe, Socio-economic Team Leader Dr. Susanne Padel 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

Towards farmer principles of health: Developing healthy farming systems More...

Underutilised Crops: New Factsheet from DIVERSIFOOD project More...

ORC Wakelyns Population on sale!: ORC Wakelyns Population Winter Wheat seed is available to order from Cope Seeds More...

Call for Organic Innovations: Deadline extended to 1 September: Themes: soil quality, livestock systems and Innovation for sustainable diets More...

Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture: A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS launched More...

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