News & events

Is there enough ambition in the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic plans to reach the EU’s target of 25% organic by 2030? To be discussed at Biofach 2023

Our report on the environmental impacts of 25% organic farming in the EU by 2030 has now been published by IFOAM. It shows that achieving the EU 25% organic farming by 2030 target could make a big difference to the environmental impacts of agriculture. It also shows, crucially, that the lower crop yields that contribute to the environmental benefits can potentially be offset fully by reduced livestock numbers, reduced feeding of concentrates, reduced consumption of meat and dairy products and reduced food waste. The food security implications of the target are therefore much lower than has been claimed by many critics of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. By making farming more sustainable, organic farming also contributes positively to long term food security.

This report of our work at the Thuenen Institute provides a detailed overview of the policy support for organic farming in Europe in the two CAP periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2000. It shows the wide range of approaches to and payment levels for conversion to and maintenance of organic farming, as well as examples of other policies implemented included action plans.

Our report on future policy options for Scottish Agriculture post Brexit has now been published by NatureScot.

At the European Parliament on 18/02/20 to give evidence to the AGRI committee hearing on EU support for innovation in agriculture, emphasising the need for ecological innovation to complement technological innovation.

Image © European Union 2020 – EP

At Biofach in Nuremberg on 13/02/20 to present perspectives of future EU CAP policy support for organic farming and to represent the Thünen Institute in Hall 9.

Our Guide to Eco-Schemes, the new Pillar 1 element in the post-2020 CAP ‘Green Architecture’ has been published by IFOAM EU in collaboration with FIBL and IEEP.

You can download the Guide here.

WWF Scotland have presented our report on options to reduce agricultural GHG emissions in Scotland to the media and to the Scottish Parliament, generating a positive response.

Visit the WWF Scotland website and download the report.

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I’m delighted to have been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by SRUC – looking forward to working with them on many more projects in years to come, including their successful distance learning course on organic farming.

Biofach (13-16 February 2019 in Nürnberg, Germany) is the largest global organic trade fair and congress. I will be there to meet old friends and make new contacts.

Ed Goff was one of the farmers who co-operated with my PhD 35 years ago, and who helped Mark Measures and me develop conversion planning techniques for use in the UK. Sadly he died late last year – see Mark’s obituary in the Guardian.

My departure from the Organic Research Centre after 10 years as Executive Director/CEO gives me the opportunity to make a fresh start, refocusing on projects and writing again. See the joint statement here.