7 June 2017
Intercropping field day

Does intercropping provide an untapped opportunity for enhancing arable farming systems?

22 June 2017
Agroforestry 2017

Improving productivity for farmers and foresters



23 May 2017
In-conversion land area on the rise

Defra organic farming stats for 2016 released

15 May 2017
TP Organics: 2017 Call for Organic Innovations

Check out this year's themes & apply!



1 February 2017
The future of UK organic support

Defra minister announces continued support post-Brexit

Policy and debates

Recent articles

We seek to engage with and influence policy-makers at local, national and international level in order to ensure that the potential of organic/ agro-ecological approaches is recognized in relevant policy debates, including climate change, food security, biodiversity, animal health/welfare, food quality/health and agri-environmental/rural development and research and innovation programmes, and to ensure that appropriate policies are developed to reflect this.

Policy work, and engagement in debates on organic principles and related issues, is therefore an integral part of our overall programme. It links our agricultural research and advisory and demonstration activities to the political, economic and social framework in which we operate. It is also the vehicle for making our philosophy and principles – our broad aspirations – part of the mainstream political and social agenda.

The work deals with long-term fundamental questions of how to bring about a genuinely sustainable food system. In this, we aim for the goals described by Schumacher of creating methods of production and consumption “designed for peace and permanence”. A key element of this is the development of concepts and policies that can foster and support regional food economies as an alternative to the globalisation of our food system.

But we also work on the issues that impact on organic farming today. To this end we work on the impact of genetic engineering; the development of national and EU Organic Action Plans and reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; the regulatory and structural issues of plant breeding and seed production and key issues related to the development of organic standards.

We are an independent and evidence based institution. In our policy work we debunk “sacred cows” and we are prepared to “stick out our necks” as we did when we assembled the evidence to challenge the government’s “slaughter-only” policy in the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001.

Our policy work is co-ordinated by Prof. Nic Lampkin with support from Lawrence Woodward as Principal Policy Advisor and other members of the Policy team.

Policy and debates areas

Genetic engineering

CAP reform

Organic action plans

Agri-environment

Climate change

Food security

Animal health

Research priorities

Organic regulations



Recent articles

Consultation on breeding techniques: IFOAM seeks comments on position paper More...

The future of UK organic support: Defra minister announces continued support post-Brexit More...

UK Organic Sector backed by EU Funding: Organic Trade Board win funding to promote organic More...

EU agriculture ministers clash over Organic Regulation: Strong disagreement over Organic Regulation review: new start needed. More...

Organic Regulation review: we need a new start: Negotiations reach standstill More...

To view more articles about policy and debates, visit our archive.