February 2007 No. 5

Coordinators invitation

Improving sustainability
in organic and low input food production systems

3rd scientific QLIF
congress 2007

Progress overview

Congress update on the seven QLIF subprojects

Between tradition and globalisation

9th German Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture

QLIF Annual Meeting and General Assembly

Programme outline

Self-sufficiency in organic farming

Invitation to an open workshop

Workshop on
Organic Eprints

Introduction to the use and perspectives of the Organic Eprints archive

Measuring food quality: concepts, methods and challenges

Report from the 3rd QLIF training and exchange workshop 12-14 February at the Louis Bolk Instituut


Self-sufficiency in organic farming

Invitation to an open workshop

A precondition for continuous consumer confidence and progress in the development of organic food systems is that organic production takes place in accordance with organic principles and thereby constitutes a genuine alternative to conventional food production.

In practice it has been difficult to obtain independence from conventional farming. In some cases, organic producers argue for the need for import of conventional feed, vitamins, minerals, straw, and manure.

The argumentation has strongly influenced the regulation for organic farming, which often dispenses for the use of conventional products. As organic farms become more specialized, the problems of maintaining autonomy and integrity can be expected to increase.

Likewise, the proclaimed environmental sustainability of organic farming is not expressed in terms of energy consumption. There are many unique initiatives taken in order to reduce the consumption of fossil energy in organic farming, but at the bottom line organic farming is consuming fossil energy in a way that is very comparable to conventional farming. Thus, regarding the energy consumption, organic farming is still not a real alternative to conventional farming.

In conclusion, there is an obvious need for research that describes the connection between productivity and the degree of "organic integrity". Here, we approach the issue in the form of an open workshop.

Workshop objectives

The objective of the workshop is to elucidate research initiatives specifically contributing to self-sufficiency in organic farming, and in this way inspire and enhance international and transnational research cooperation.

Presentations and discussions

A major part of the workshop will be devoted to free contributions and discussions on research needs and initiatives. However, the workshop will start with short presentations of research initiatives specifically related to self-sufficiency in organic farming. Examples are:

  • Main conclusions from the European funded Organic Revision project (please see www.organic-revision.org for further information).
  • Perspectives in an ongoing Danish knowledge synthesis on "Functional integrity in organic farming linked with preservation of wetlands".

If you wish to present a research initiative or the like, please contact Claus Bo Andreasen, DARCOF at clausbo.andreasen@agrsci.dk - preferable before 1 March 2007.

Target group

The workshop is relevant for most research disciplines related for organic farming. The main prerequisite for participation is aspiration for the developing of self-sufficient organic food systems.

Time and place

The worksop is held at the 3rd QLIF congress in Hohenheim. The preliminary timeslot for workshop is Wednesday 21st March at 17.00 to 18.30.

The final programme will be announced at the QLIF Congress homepage from 15 March.

Suggestions & questions

If you have suggestions or questions regarding the workshop, please contact Claus Bo Andreasen, DARCOF, at clausbo.andreasen@agrsci.dk