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Improving inputs in organic farming – new Horizon 2020 project “RELACS” started

Improving inputs in organic farming – new Horizon 2020 project “RELACS” started

The partners of the “Replacement of Contentious Inputs in Organic Farming Systems” (RELACS) project gathered to kick-off the RELACS project in Leuven, Belgium. At the kick-off meeting, project coordinator Dr. Lucius Tamm said: “RELACS provides a unique opportunity for farmer organisations, advisory services and researchers to work together and contribute to even higher environmental standards in organic farming”.

The partners of the RELACS project at the kick-off meeting in Belgium. (Photo: FiBL)

(May 30, 2018)

Organic farmers adhere to high standards in producing quality food while protecting the environment. However, organic farming needs to improve continuously to keep meeting its ambitious objectives. RELACS will foster the development and adoption of cost-efficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies to:

  • Reduce the use of copper and mineral oil in plant protection,
  • Identify sustainable sources for plant nutrition, and
  • Provide solutions to support livestock health and welfare.

As a system approach to sustainable agriculture, organic farming aims to effectively manage ecological processes whilst lowering dependence on off-farm inputs. The RELACS partners will evaluate solutions to further reduce the use of inputs across Europe as well as in countries on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean. The project partners will provide scientific support to develop fair and implementable EU rules to improve current practices in organic farming. Farm advisory networks in 11 European countries will reach out to farmers to ensure effective dissemination and adoption of the tools and techniques.

RELACS builds on results of previous research projects and takes far-advanced solutions forward. The project was developed by involving actors from research, farming, advisory services and industry from the very start hence implementing a truly multi-actor approach. RELACS has 28 partners from 11 countries.

RELACS is funded through Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation framework programme under grant agreement 773431. RELACS is coordinated by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Switzerland. The information provided does not necessarily reflect the official views of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the information provided.

Further information


Dr Lucius Tamm, FiBL Switzerland

Project partners

  • Adage35 (France)
  • Asociación Valor Ecológico, CAAE – Ecovalia (Spain)
  • Bioforum Vlaanderen (Belgium)
  • BiPA NV (Belgium)
  • Eesti Mahepollumajanduse Sihtasutus (Estonia)
  • Fédération des Eleveurs Et Vétérinaires En Convention (FEVEC, France)
  • Federazione Italiana Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica (Italy)
  • Fondazione Edmund Mach (Italy)
  • Foundation for organic Agriculture Bioselena (Bulgaria)
  • IFOAM EU (Belgium)
  • Institut de l’Élevage (France)
  • Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique (France)
  • Institut Technique Interprofessionnel des Plantes à Parfum Médicinales et Aromatiques (France)
  • Julius Kühn-Institut Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (Germany)
  • Københavns Universitet (Denmark)
  • Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy)
  • Naturland – Verband für ökologischen Landbau e. V. (Germany)
  • NIBIO – Norsk Instituti for Biookonomi (Norway)
  • Okologiai Mezogazdasagi Kutatointezet (Hungary)
  • Økologisk Landsforening (Denmark)
  • Öko-Obstbau Norddeutschland: Versuchs- und Beratungsring e.V. (Germany)
  • Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland)
  • Scotland’s Rural College (UK)
  • SubstainTec GmbH (Switzerland)
  • The Soil Association (UK)
  • Thünen-Institut (Germany)
  • Trifolio-M GmbH (Germany)
  • Universita degli studi di Trento (Italy)
  • Universitaet Hohenheim (Germany)
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