Organic farming systems as a driver for change

Since 1980’s, NJF members from Nordic and Baltic countries have been engaged in research, development and extension work in organic farming and food systems. Several NJF seminars have been arranged to highlight organic food and agriculture, bringing together experts from different branches of sience, from ecology to economics. This seminar in Denmark 2013 is part of this chain of seminars, which started in Alnarp, Sweden 2005 and was followed by Tartu, Estonia in 2009. This seminar is organized in collaboration with ICROFS – International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems and EPOK – Centre for Organic Food and Farming at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Organic agriculture has grown to a sector with profound impact on the societal and agricultural development.

Hence, we want to utilize the upcoming seminar to reveal how organic research has contributed, or may contribute to change the many and serious challenges that we face to protect our environment and to ensure a satisfactory living for all. Concurrently, the needs for improvement in practical farming systems, both to support the farmers and to further develop organic farming in a sustainable direction, must be emphasized.
The objective of the seminar is to encourage the seminar participants to discuss relevant main challenges and how research and developmental work can be more efficiently directed to solve problems in organic farming systems, based on the overview of work presented during the seminar. The seminar should inspire the participants, and make them better equipped to utilize their work to solve problems in relation to (organic) farming, as they are challenged to reflect the impact of their work in a broader context.
Topics
The seminar program is arranged around the following four tracks:

  1. Societal and economic viability
  2. Transition to renewable resources
  3. Nutrient sufficiency and management in farming systems
  4. Productivity and sustainable production levels in animal and crop production
    Download the final programme to see the topics that will be covered in these tracks.
    Keynote speakers
    Opening speech “Organic farming meets future food and environmental challenges” will be given by Elisabeth Gauffin, Sweden, a dairy farmer and the president of KRAV – Swedish Association for Standards in Organic Agriculture and Food.
    There are four track experts and each of them will give an introductory key-note speech about major challenges related to the respective track:
    Track 1: “The organic sector as an innovation system” by Dr. Susanne Padel, Principal socio-economic researcher, The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, UK.
    Track 2: “Energy balance comparisons of organic and conventional farming systems and potentials for the mitigation of fossil resource use” by Dr. Tommy Dalgaard, Head of Agro-Environmental Management MSc Programme, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark.
    Track 3: “Long-term management of nutrients in organic farming – principles and practice” by Dr. Christine Watson, Leader of the Soils Research Team, Scotland’s Rural College, UK.
    Track 4: “Is agroeclogy the most suitable approach for all organic farming systems? by Prof. Paolo Bàrberi, Professor of Agronomy and Field Crops, Institute of Life Sciences, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy.
    The track experts have participated in planning the programme and will contribute to discussions in the sessions and take part in the final plenary session in summing up major conclusions.

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