Tag Archives: UK

ORC at 40: Challenging times for organic, but we can be ‘driving force’

Natural Products – Jan 22nd, 2020 – Jim Manson

As it begins its 40th year, the Organic Research Centre (ORC) – the UK’s leading independent organic research body – has moved to new premises. 

The relocation to Trent Lodge in Cirencester follows a rethink of the charity’s business model since the departure of long-standing CEO Nic Lampkin last year. 

The decision was made to sell the ORC’s previous headquarters, Elm Farm near Newbury, with the aim that proceeds would provide long-term stability, a source of investment income for core funding, and scope to invest in the organisation for the future.

The new premises are situated next to the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), which will help boost the ORC’s industry relations and collaborative activities as well as providing a base for research.

Editorial Note from CCFSH:

Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Canada – Photo – Ken Billings

Across the country, Agriculture Canada has 20 Research farms. Two in each western province, four in Ontario, four in Quebec and one in each of the Eastern provinces.

According to Agriculture Canada, the jewel in Ottawa, 1150 acres in the middle of the city, called the Central Experimental Farm uses chemicals on 95 to 98 % of the farm.

The people of Canada have a unique opportunity to build a better, healthier business plan. These research facilities, taken over by a volunteer Board of Directors could produce ‘ Organic, Permaculture and Greenhouse Research and Education Centres to provide fiirst class organic research facilities for school children to learn first hand about the wonders of growing safe, healthy food. This is a win/win if we can out maneuver the marriage of Big Agra and the Federal Government control.

This was a big dream of Dr. Shiv Chopra. To do this, it has to be sooner than later. In places like Ottawa, they have already earmarked 70 acres for a hospital and the city developers are drooling over the rest of the Central Experimental Farm.

What do you think?

Ken Billings

Executive Director, CCFSH

True cost of cheap food is health and climate crises, says commission

The Guardian – Jul 16, 2019 – Damian Carrington

The commission said agriculture produced more than 10% of the UK’s climate-heating gases and was the biggest destroyer of wildlife Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis and environmental destruction, according to a high-level commission. It said the UK’s food and farming system must be radically transformed and become sustainable within 10 years.

The commission’s report, which was welcomed by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, concluded that farmers must be enabled to shift from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife friendly production, raising livestock on grass and growing more nuts and pulses. It also said a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and, for example, tackle the climate crisis by planting trees or restoring peatlands.

“Our own health and the health of the land are inextricably intertwined [but] in the last 70 years, this relationship has been broken,” said the report, which was produced by leaders from farming, supermarket and food supply businesses, as well as health and environment groups, and involved conversations with thousands of rural inhabitants.

“Time is now running out. The actions that we take in the next 10 years are critical: to recover and regenerate nature and to restore health and wellbeing to both people and planet,” said the commission, which was convened by the RSA, a group focused on pressing social challenges.

The commission said most farmers thought they could make big changes in five to 10 years if they got the right backing.

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