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Organic fruit production: Review of current practice and knowledge - OF0150

Despite strong consumer demand and high prices for organic fruit, the UK organic fruit sector is the least developed of all the organic food sectors in the UK. Major barriers which dissuade growers from entering the sector include lack of technical knowledge on fruit production and uncertainties surrounding the economics of organic fruit production. This study will generate information on best practice techniques for organic fruit production, including top fruit as well as soft fruit. It will be composed of 6 specific objectives which are outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Identification and assessment of current methods of organic soft fruit and top fruit production in the UK with reference to major problems limiting production. Several UK fruit growers will be contacted with a view to collecting technical data on current practices and problems encountered. Representatives from other parties involved in the organic fruit sector (e.g. advisors, packers, processors, retailers) will also be consulted and factors limiting organic fruit production will be pinpointed; 2. Reviewing of existing knowledge regarding fruit production (e.g. published literature and on-going research), focussing on issues specific to organic fruit production. Online databases (e.g. AGRICOLA, CAB Abstracts and Current Contents), the horticultural press and library sources will be consulted; 3. Collection and assessment of data on best practice techniques used for organic fruit production in other countries, particularly those within the EU, with a view to identifying how technical problems currently encountered in the UK are dealt with elsewhere. Organic EU production bodies and research institutes for organic fruit will be contacted and published material, reports, guidelines etc. will be obtained, combined with a selected number of data gathering visits; 4. Production of technical recommendations and advice relating to organic fruit agriculture from the obtained information. This material will then form the basis for a series of best practice guidelines for producing organic apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries. 5. Identification of priority areas for research and development; and 6. Proposal of recommendations on appropriate methods for technology transfer of the results to a wider audience. Further ways of distributing the findings of this study will also be investigated and will comprise consultation with the Organic Fruit Focus Group, the Organic Advisory Service and British Organic Farmers to establish the most effective techniques.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Organic fruit production: Review of current practice and knowledge   (106k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 1999

Cost: £24,937
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Henry Doubleday Research Association
Economic Research              
Organic Farming              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming