A European organisation which aims to provide advice to farmers planning on moving into the organic sector has met in Brussels.

A total of 18 partners from across Europe gathered for a three-day event to plan the next steps for the OrganicAdviceNetwork, which follows the EU target target of achieving 25% organic farmland by 2030, as part of the Farm to Fork Strategy.

The project’s main objective is to create a network of organic advisors throughout the 27 EU member states and 7 other European countries.

The network will organize 30 visits across five geographical zones, with 20 visits for arable and ruminant sectors and 10 for vegetable, fruit, and viticulture sectors. Further animation of the network is foreseen through continuous knowledge exchange activities.

These will include soft-skills training and online training modules covering diverse agricultural topics, aiming to support new and experienced organic advisors.

A strong focus will be given to conventional advisors and young graduates willing to acquire skills in advice for the organic sector.

The project will also identify and promote successful business models for structuring and financing organic advisory services through an ‘Organic Advice Contest’.

Attendees got the chance to deepen their understanding of organic advisory services in Flanders during the visit.

Lieven Delanote, an experienced organic advisor, showcased a 17-hectare experimental organic farm.

Carmen Landuyt from CCBT presented the FORK-network which facilitates the organic agriculture knowledge flow between Flemish research institutes and farmers.

The field trip ended at the organic farm Goed ter Heule, a 9-hectare self-picking, family, mixed farm near Kortrijk with a dinner prepared with the organic products produced on the farm.