The Elm Organic Research Centre (ORC) Established in 1980 by David Astor, the Progressive Farming Trust Ltd., ORC’s parent educational charity, has continued to pursue the visionary sustainability goals of its founders and it is the UK’s leading independent research centre for the development of organic/agroecological food production and land management solutions to key global issues including climate change, soil and biodiversity conservation, and food security.
The principles and practices of organic farming are developed from six key principles such as: A closed system, Soil fertility and structure, Pollution and the use of fossil fuels, Food quality, appropriate technology, Animal welfare. The Organic Research Centre is firm in its belief that realistic solutions can be found to these problems, and that it is possible to manage a change to production and consumption patterns that are within environmental limits. Its purpose is to work with others, to promote such agriculture and develop organic agriculture.
The Centre has played a central role in the development of organic food and farming research, policy and standards since 1980. It applies modern scientific knowledge and research expertise to find ways of maximising food production sustainably, by – Carrying out scientific and practical research into all aspects of farming, based on organic principles, with impartiality and independence of mind, Expanding knowledge of cyclical and sustainable systems of farming and advising farmers, landowners and related institutions on the commercial application of such systems, Evaluating and disseminating information about organic farming and its relevance to food quality, pollution control, appropriate technology, energy efficiency, soil fertility, human and animal welfare and the conservation of the countryside.
ORC’s research programme focuses on organic/agro-ecological approaches to food and farming in order to: improve the productivity and sustainability of such approaches and to address key technical problems where current practice falls short of organic/agro-ecological principles, Evaluate, with a view to improvement, the wider impacts of such systems, in particular the delivery of ecosystem services ; pollution, resource use and biodiversity impacts; greenhouse gas emissions and potential for climate change mitigation; food security, food sovereignty and sustainability of food systems; as well as food quality, safety and hhuman/animal health and wellbeing. human/animal health and wellbeing.