Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Organic

25 September 2018

The UK’s Eating Better alliance has launched a new video exploring how to eat “Less and better” meat, where the alliance defines “better” as being better for the environment, health and food workers. The video explains several different labels that can be found on meat, including the Red Tractor, organic, free range, and RSPCA assured.

4 September 2018

The UK government has released the first batch of its technical notices to advise businesses and individuals on how to prepare for the hypothetical scenario of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. The notices include some topics of relevance to the food system.

Image: Bicanski, Organic apple fruits on tree, Pixnio, CC0 Public domain
24 July 2018

This review paper reports that organic agriculture has lower yields than conventional agriculture, by 19-25% on average across all crops, according to three meta-analyses. Lower yields may be due to the lack of use of synthetic fertilisers - organic systems are often limited by low levels of nitrogen or phosphorus - and higher susceptibility to pest outbreaks. Widespread uptake of organic farming (to produce the same amounts of output as today) would probably require some conversion of natural habitats to farmland, because of this lower land-use efficiency compared to conventional agriculture - an important consideration, as the area of certified organic production has increased from 15 million ha in 2000 to 51 million ha in 2015 (although this is only 1% of agricultural land).

Image: Jon Åslund, Frukt och Grönt (och andra färger) i Östermalmshallen, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 February 2018

In this paper, FCRN member Michael Martin examines the environmental impacts of various Swedish dietary choices across a wide range of environmental impact categories, paying particular attention to the trade-offs between impact categories.

26 February 2018

This book, edited by Charis Michel Galanakis, describes the latest research on how food production and processing can become more sustainable.

Image: Alberto Cruz, Farms in Périgord, France, Flickr, Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication
20 February 2018

The French government has announced that half of all food procured by its public sector must be organic or locally produced by 2022. The media coverage does not offer a definition of ‘local’ food.

Image: Apostolos, Cow, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
20 February 2018

A new technique has been devised to verify whether the cows producing ‘organic’ milk have actually spent the required 120 days a year grazing outdoors.

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 20130712-AMS-LSC-0415, Flickr, CC by 2.0
13 November 2017

This paper presents the findings of a food systems model that considers how specific agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture could be harnessed so as to enable it to play a greater role in sustainable food systems.

7 June 2017

An ad used by Arla Foods to promote their organic milk has been banned as it used the "misleading" claim that its production is "good for the land". 

26 May 2017

This research from USDA’s Economic Research Service looks at trends in consumer demand for organic food since the 1990s and developments in organic production.

8 May 2017

This report on organic agriculture and climate change was commissioned by the IFOAM-EU Group and researched and written by FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture). It highlights organic agriculture’s potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change and underlines the importance of adopting a systemic approach - one which encompasses consumption - to reducing all the environmental impacts of agriculture.

Photo: muffinn, Hallow – muck spreading, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic.
29 March 2017

This review assesses the performance of organic cropping systems as an approach to sustainable agriculture, and seeks to identify the contextual considerations (such as type of cropping system) that may affect this performance. The scope of the review is constrained to the level of the farming system (i.e. excludes considerations of other components of the food system, such as packaging or transport). In order to provide an unbiased assessment of organic farming as a means of sustainable agriculture, rather than approaching the question from the usual “What does organic farming do well/badly?” angle, the authors ask “What constitutes successful sustainable agriculture?” then measure organic farming against this yardstick.

7 March 2017

As Asda becomes the first UK retailer to sell ‘free range’ milk, the Pasture Promise logo will be placed on the milk packages, to ensure consumers that the cows grazed for 180 days and nights and farmers were offered fair price.

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