European cooperation on organic farming research

Lucius Tamm (FiBL) and Christian Huyghe (INRA). © INRA
Lucius Tamm (FiBL) and Christian Huyghe (INRA). © INRA

INRA and the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) signed a partnership agreement on organic farming research on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at INRA’s Laqueuille centre in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The collaboration aims to support existing joint projects and develop new projects.

INRA and FiBL have worked together for more than 20 years to conduct European research projects (41 joint publications) in areas such as animal health, plant and animal breeding, arable crop soil fertility and more. With a view to strengthening their partnership, the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to develop new research in organic farming through joint projects tackling cross-disciplinary issues.

FiBL and organic farming

The Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) is a leading international research player in the field of organic farming. It conducts multidisciplinary research and has a large farm, which includes a vineyard, winery and orchards. Because its skills are also in high demand outside Switzerland, FiBL also participates in numerous international projects, not only for research and dissemination but continuing education and development cooperation as well.

INRA and organic farming

INRA has long conducted major research and experiments in organic farming. For nearly 15 years, these efforts have focused on research projects dealing with genetics, farming practices, different sectors, consumer expectations and public policies. This type of research is frequently carried out in close partnership with research and development players, and INRA also participates in organic farming research at the European level. Its research in this field relies especially on an experimental network across France and which covers the main areas of animal and plant production. One of its systems is located at the Laqueuille centre in the region of Auvergne.

In Laqueuille, a focus on organic ruminant farming

INRA’s Laqueuille centre, located between 1,000 and 1,500 metres above sea level, conducts organic farming experiments on small ruminant production systems. With 117 hectares of grasslands, 35 head of cattle and 230 sheep, the SALAMIX research project compares three organic grazing systems with the aim of producing meat from animals fed on permanent grasslands. This research involves two major strategies: the crossbreeding of a hardy breed with an early-maturing breed and the association of two animal species (dairy sheep and cattle).

INRA News Office (33 (0)1 42 75 91 86), Sabrina Gasser, INRA Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Research Centre, Communications and media spokeswoman (33 (0)4 73 62 40 35)