Flemish Organic Research and Knowledge network

The Flemish Organic Research and Knowledge network (FORK-network) is a cooperation between Biobedrijfsnetwerken (Farmers’ networks), CCBT (Coordination Centre for Applied Research and Extension on Organic Agriculture) and NOBL (Network for Organic Food and Farming Research) and the stakeholders of these networks. Together the networks aims to reinforce the research and knowledge exchange within the organic food and farming sector in Flanders in a living lab setting.

Major objectives of the FORK network are:

  • Higher support and recognition of research and innovation in organic agriculture in Flanders in order to support farmers and rural communities in their aim to meet a wide range of current and future challenges.
  • Better understanding of the research and innovation needs, practice-driven by the organic sector.
  • Optimal use of research funds and infrastructure for organic food and farming research on regional, national and European level by promoting and facilitating multi-stakeholder participation and co-creation within the agri-food chain.
  • Efficient and effective dissemination and exchange of knowledge, research information and results between farmers, researchers, advisors and all other food chain actors.

The FORK network brings together entrepreneurs (farmers, processors …), organisations, advisors, policy makers and researchers. It links relevant practical experience from the organic food chain with complementary research, allowing knowledge exchange and the sustainable development of the organic food and farming sector in Flanders.

The thematic research strategy sets out how research can contribute to creating insights in the development of robust and resilient agro-food systems and to the understanding and scientifically underpinning  of the strengths of the organic food chain.

The research approach of the FORK-network relies on demand-driven research, system-oriented research and a multi-actor and co-creative approach (Research Strategy, p9). Research is tailored to the needs from the sector and outlined together with the sector. Besides scientific experiments it consists of knowledge exchange, stakeholder discussions, and gathering of experiences. Active participation of all stakeholders is therefore crucial and thus highly encouraged. This approach allows and guarantees that research and innovation is in line with the Flemish real life context and with the needs of the whole food production chain.

Some activities of the partners in the FORK-network:

  • Organisation of farmers’ networks to exchange experiential knowledge
  • Advice to research funders about research priorities for the organic sector in Flanders
  • Funding of small scale practical research projects in a real-life setting
  • Promotion of co-operation between researchers
  • Promotion of interaction between researchers and stakeholders from the agri-food chain
  • Expanding international contacts and collaborations
  • Dissemination of knowledge and research results through newsletters, events, (cross-border) study trips, demonstrations, …
  • Participation as National Platform in the European technology platform TPOrganics

Are you active or interested in research for organic food and farming in Flanders? Please contact:

An Jamart, coordinator Biobedrijfsnetwerken BioForum:

Carmen Landuyt, coordinator CCBT:

Lieve De Cock, coordinator NOBL: