Title STOAS – Sustainability Training for Organic Advisers
Project Number LLP-LdV-Tol-2011/DK-1103
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Organic producers are continuously challenged to improve their sustainability performance and deliver evidence of the sustainability. This challenges not only the farmers, but also their advisers. The STOAS project contributes to that by training organic advisers and other stakeholders in the use of recently developed tools.
Organic farming is generally considered to be synonymous with sustainable farming and it has led the field in the development of farming systems and practices based on broad principles of financial, social and environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, the organic sector faces multiple sustainability challenges in the future; consumers are becoming more aware of the issues and food companies are accordingly more demanding, Government is requiring evidence to justify policy and grant support for organic farming and there is an urgent need for organic farming to deliver multiple objectives more effectively than it has done in the past. To merely fulfil the requirements of the organic regulation is not sufficient anymore. Organic producers are asked to deliver in-depth evidence of the sustainability of their farms.
This evolution challenges not only the farmers, but also their advisers and certification bodies. In the past, advisory services focused in the first place on optimising production and profitability while improving the ecological and social status of the farms received much less attention. New societal demands now urge organic advisers to develop new tools to assess and improve the sustainability of organic farms across all fronts. STOAS project aims to make organic advisers, organic organisation managers and inspectors familiar with some of the recently developed tools and to provide practical training on sustainability to those working with farmers.
Eight organic associations in Europe have developed two courses in sustainability designed for two different groups of organic advisers.
The project partners are:
• Videncentret for Landbrug - Knowledge Centre for Agriculture (Denmark)
• Bioland Beratung GmbH (Germany)
• FiBL – Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (Switzerland)
• ORC - The Organic Research Centre (United Kingdom)
• IFOAM EU (Belgium)
• Louis Bolk Institute (Netherlands)
• Bio Austria (Austria)
• PRO-Bio (Czech)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Other Service Activities
program or curricula
Course 1: Leaders and managers of advisory organisations, of NGOs and public institutions involved in organic and sustainable agriculture
Course 2: Advisers for organic farms, with a focus on sustainability in their work
The courses will help the participants to improve their advisory work and make sustainability a guiding principle of their services. Participants will learn how to document the sustainability performance of a farm and how to communicate it to the wider public, consumers, food companies and politicians.
In the first course the focus is on sharing experiences and develops a common understanding of sustainability. The focus of the second course is the work with three advisory tools: RISE, the Public Good Assessment Tool and the Bioland Assessment Tool.