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Quality and Environmental benchmarking for organic agriculture - OF0348

This project is particularly apt for organic farming where, it is argued, the delivery of public and environmental goods and services is as important as food and fibre output but will also be relevant for conventional farms in the wake of CAP reform. It is firmly based on previous R&D work but is innovative in that it is seeking to link measurement of financial performance with measurements of non-financial goods and services in a way that the overall and total performance of a farm business can be assessed and improved. The close involvement of farmers in the production of a workable benchmarking tool/s and process is also a relatively novel feature in this kind of work. The final outcome; a benchmarking system that encompasses non-financial outputs fits squarely with new policy requirements and will be a valuable technical support to farmers and policy makers.
The aim of this project is to identify farm-system quality benchmarks that provide output-based indicators of the overall efficiency of the organic farming system that can be readily used by the farmer or adviser to guide management and resource use.As benchmarking is a process of achieving improvements in efficiency, it is critically important that farmers, as the end users and implementers, are engaged in the development of measures that have a validity for them, are cost effective and provide means to access complex issues. Testing and evaluating the benchmark “tools” with several farmer and enterprise groups is a key part in the success of this project. The final output will be the identification of valid and useable benchmarks of quality and environmental efficiencies and a protocol outlining the benchmarking process can be undertaken to encompass business performance and the delivery of non-financial goods and services.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2006

Cost: £120,315
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Elm Farm Research Centre
Environmental monitoring              
Organic Farming              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming