Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Organic

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.

Photo credit: Steve Slater, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
29 November 2016

This article evaluates the impact of voluntary crop sustainability standards on biodiversity protection. The authors reviewed the 12 major crop standards (such as Organic cropland (IFOAM), Fairtrade and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), and found that only two of these prohibited all deforestation (Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network and Proterra). 

16 September 2016

Researchers in California conducted a life cycle assessment to model the climate change mitigation potential of consuming produce grown in household vegetable gardens as opposed to those from stores.

Photo, Suzette, Visiting an organic farm, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

Alternative cropping systems such as organic or conservation agriculture are often expected to lead to enhanced soil carbon storage as compared with conventional systems, and therefore to hold potential to contribute to climate change mitigation via carbon sequestration.

Photo: Stephen Luke, farm, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
16 August 2016

One Dutch animal rights NGO and a growing public antipathy to the extremes of industrial animal farming have caused several major supermarkets in the Netherlands to stop selling meat from fast-growing chickens.

Photo: Tony Hirtenstein, Cowslips, Worcester Pearmain tree and garden, Flickr, Creative commons licence, 2.0
24 July 2016

Permaculture is described here as a grassroots movement whose participants attempt to live in a sustainable way, taking inspiration from natural ecosystems in trying to live off the land as much as possible. The idea behind permaculture is to rely as much as possible on perennial crops, to recycle and reuse materials, and reduce waste. 

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fall Line Farms; cooperative, co-op; Richmond, VA, Flickr, Creative commons licence 2.0
24 July 2016

In the paper Organic agriculture in the twenty-first century by Reganold and Wachter (2016), that the FCRN has previously summarised, organic agriculture was found to be more profitable and environmentally beneficial compared with conventional farming as well as more productive and profitable in the long term, especially in developing countries where it provides an “ideal blueprint in addressing climate change”.

28 June 2016

This report by Friends of the Earth discusses how ecological resources essential for producing food can be protected and how we can feed a growing population by focusing on creating a more sustainable, democratic and fair food system for all.

1 April 2016

The EU parliament has now approved a law which will merge the separate EU school milk and fruit schemes and boost their combined annual budget from €20m to €250m a year.

10 March 2016

Two recent systematic literature reviews conclude that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products. The team led by Newcastle University, reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

10 March 2016

In a major report, ICROFS (International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems) at Aarhus University, Denmark evaluates the health and environmental impacts of organic versus conventionally farmed foods.

10 March 2016

A new paper argues that organic farming has significant potential to feed a growing world population as global temperatures increase.  The researchers examine the performance of organic farming in light of four key sustainability metrics: productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social wellbeing.

16 February 2016

This report by a partnership comprising the International Trade Centre, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the International Institute for Sustainable Development summarises the recent market trends and growth in voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), for nine commodities.

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