Protein production and protein amount and quality in the feed ration are major issues for organic production in Europe.
The aim of this European partnership is to establish an experience sharing group, where senior organic advisers can meet and share knowledge and experiences about on-farm protein management – from cropping to feeding. Results of new research and develop-ment projects as well as the participants experience will lead to new ideas and solutions within this topic.
In all countries participating in the project, there is an essential lack of "home grown protein" for feeding animals. All of them are importing thousands of tons of soy beans or soy bean products per year from the world market.
Consumers of organic food are expecting that as much feed as possible is grown by the farm itself, or at least in the region. Imports from overseas are criticized, due to the fact that there are severe doubts that they are grown in a sustainable way.
A lot of scientific work about how to grow proteins is done in the different countries, but the exchange of information and experience has to be improved. At a first meeting in Sweden, the "International Workshop for Experienced Organic Advisers: On Farm Protein Sources - Cropping and Feeding", held on 18-19th of June 2012, it was shown that the problems and questions in the participating countries are quite similar.
In all the countries trials exist to find out how to grow soy beans (in the southern countries) or alternatives to soy beans (Lupines, peas, beans...) in the north. The knowledge transfer will lead to more efficiency in finding solutions. All the partners are active in the field of advising/education. They take responsibility in sharing the knowledge they gained with other organizations dealing with organic agriculture education in their respective countries. By improving the amount of "home grown protein" and developing corresponding feeding strategies, the sustainability of organic agriculture in participating countries will be improved.
Meetings including farm and field visits. These meetings, which include farm and field visits, will augment the knowledge gained in 2012/2013 in Sweden, Germany, and Finland. These will take place in Denmark, Switzerland, UK and Austria. These meetings will also:
Lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo Da Vinci Partnerships