Research Strategy for Organic Food and Farming: Flanders 2018 – 2022

With the ‘Research Strategy for Organic Food and Farming in Flanders 2018-2022’, the Flemish Organic Research and Knowledge Network (Biobedijfsnetwerken, CCBT and NOBL), together with its partners, aims to contribute to the central ambition of the new Strategic Plan for Organic Agriculture 2018-2022: “Together towards more and better organic agriculture”. The thematic research strategy sets out where research efforts can contribute to creating insights about how to develop robust and resilient agro-food systems and also to understand and scientifically underpin the strengths of organic agriculture and food to make agriculture and society more sustainable.  

Organic agriculture is seen as the basis of a transition to an agro-ecological food system that uses fewer external resources, makes sustainable use of our agricultural soils and is resilient in times of increasing instability and unpredictability, and ensures stable production and a consistent food supply.

The strategy reflects what actors along the (organic) food supply chain think is important and what knowledge needs they have. This will be a starting point for writing research proposals that are driven by sustainability and innovation.

Three thematic research areas are defined:

  • Robust organic productions systems
    • Primary production: a systemic approach
    • Innovative strategies, processes and technologies
    • Organic agriculture, nature, landscape and environment
  • Flexible organic chain systems
    • Development of market and consumption
    • Socio-economy and society
  • High quality food and food processing

The research strategy is published in Dutch but you find an English summary here.

Accomplishing this strategy, the FORK-network opts for demand-driven research, carried out through a co-creative process, with room for cooperation between different scientific disciplines and expertise, and where the farmers and other actors along the supply chain are also actively involved in planning as well as in implementing the research.

The FORK-network is open to all questions from researchers, policy makers and practicioners about research design and implementation, the dissemination of research findings and  the search for (research) partners.