Organic poultry producers are to get a helping hand thanks to the launch of new project designed to help them achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed.
A new project, OK-Net EcoFeed, was launched at the Elm Farm Organic Research Centre, which is designed to make practical solutions available to improve the use of organic regional feed.
A key objective of organic farming is that animals are fed with feed produced on or near the farm, but this is difficult in large parts of Europe as organic feed and livestock production are concentrated in different regions.
As a result, animal feed often has to be imported from regions far away from where the animals are raised. The problem is most acute for protein feed, which is sometimes not even available in organic quality.
The project is being coordinated by the Swedish-based International Federation of Organic Agriculture movements European Union regional group, and involves Denmark, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain and the UK.
Dr Bruce Pearce, deputy director programmes at the Organic Research Centre, said: “OK-Net EcoFeed will work with 11 innovation groups that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge among farmers, businesses, researchers and advisors. These groups will identify innovations from the ground up and ensure that solutions disseminated by the project ‘work in the real world’ of farming and business.”
Dr Bram Moeskops, OK-Net EcoFeed coordinator, added: “Increasing the availability of organic and regional feed will further improve the sustainability of organic agriculture.”
All knowledge generated by the project will be formatted in practical fact sheets and videos and made available on web-based platform.