Organic-PLUS project: Pathways to phase-out contentious inputs from organic agriculture in Europe – Research overview and preliminary results

Ulrich Schmutz, Francis Rayns, Sara Burbi, Adrian Evans, Sabine Zikeli, Frank Oudshoorn, Nikolaos Katsoulas, Didier Andrivon, Massimo De Marchi, Federico Righi, Anne-Kristin Løes, Krystyna Malińska, Claus Grøn Sørensen , Assumpció Antón

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Across Europe, there has been an ongoing discussion regarding inputs into organic agriculture and horticulture, which are considered more or less contentious. These discussions have contributed to the decision by the European Horizon-2020 research programme to invest 8 million Euros into two 4-year projects, starting in 2018.
    This presentation provides an overview of research approaches from one of those Organic-PLUS (O+) The research work in O+ includes alternatives to the use of copper and mineral oils used for plant protection, with a special focus on potatoes, perennial Mediterranean crops like olives and citrus and greenhouse crops like tomatoes and aubergines. Further research is on better organic fertilisers such as non-animal derived fertilisers, which are compatible with ‘Vegan Organic Standards’, but also other ‘bio-economy fertilisers’, which make use of existing resources, like shpond sediments and marine-derived fertilisers. Alternatives to peat as a growing media, an area where peat replacement is most challenging i.e. in specialised nursery crops will also be researched and discussed, and also the increasing use of plastic mulch
    materials and potential impact of plastic and alternative mulch materials on soil pollutants.
    The research on livestock covers contentious inputs used in the major animal production systems, considering the use of natural plant sources of vitamins as an alternative to synthetic products, the use of anti-infective and immune-stimulatory molecules from plant products as an alternative to synthetic antibiotics and the use of alternative and novel bedding materials in place of straw from conventional farms.
    The O+ project is also committed to research broader public concerns about contentious inputs and to further develop science-society dialogue around contentious inputs.
    The presentation will also present first results from the ongoing contentious input mapping tasks to map the use of contentious inputs across Europe.
    The presentation will invite discussion on further contentious inputs and possible phase-out scenarios to strengthen the contribution organic agriculture and horticulture (including conventional) can make to a true ‘Bio-economy’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
    Event6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences - Eisenstadt, Austria
    Duration: 7 Nov 20189 Nov 2018


    Conference6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences
    Abbreviated titleICOAS
    Internet address


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