WP 1     System definition       P4 (IUNG-PIB)


The objectives of this WP are:

- identify innovative organic / sustainable case studies and their mainstream organic / sustainable counterpart,

- present the analysis of the state of the knowledge in this area,

- collate the necessary data in order to analyse the transition towards sustainability in WP2 and 3.



WP1 builds a theoretical framework for the project. To characterise organic /sustainable FS in terms of sustainability, WP1 develops a participatory approach involving different stakeholders. Based on expert knowledge, it will identify sustainable and mainstream case studies in all partner areas (task 1) and using as well available data, we will interpret concepts of organic and sustainable FS, their regional-context features, boundaries and interaction (task 2). The concepts and terms will be used in sustainability assessment analysis (WP2) and identifying and modelling scenarios leading towards sustainability (WP3). Within task 3 we will develop a data collection protocol for doing so in a consistent way. The purpose of the task is also to foster synergies between tasks and to program efficient training of actors in preparation relevant data. All WP1 activities will be undertaken in accordance with WP4 strategies, identifying the needs of target groups. This WP is led by IUNG-PIB.

Task     1.1     Identification of case studies

This task will identify innovative organic and/or sustainable case studies in all partner areas together with stakeholders from the organic/sustainable food sector. By directly involving stakeholders from the food sector, we aim to strengthen the links from science to businesses/organisations to increase both the “ownership” of the research and the dissemination of the project results (WP4). Selected cases will cover the four OECD areas of innovation: (1) Products; (2) Production techniques; (3) Marketing; and (4) Organisation and governance (see: page) as evaluating impacts at all stages of the supply chain is vital to identify trade-offs/synergies between production, distribution and consumer stages. Precise selection criteria for case studies will be refined through interaction with stakeholders encompassing farmers, consumers, public authorities and policy makers, SMEs, business support organisations, education and research organisations. In addition, the scope of specific national funding agencies will result in a further limitation of possible case studies. Examples of potential case studies closely associated with project partners can be found in Fig. 2. These case studies will work as a back-up plan, in case a case study identification via multistakeholder participation process falters. All partners will initiate national identification processes based on guidelines provided by RAU.

Task     1.2       Definition of reference system

To put the specific characteristics of the innovative organic/sustainable case studies into context of further activities in WP2 and 3, we will assess reference systems from the mainstream organic /sustainable sector in this task. This task will be based on literature review (scientific papers, technical reports etc. and data review e.g. agri benchmarks) and expert opinions (Delphi). These reference systems will serve as a comparable counterpart to highlight advantages and shortcomings of mainstream organic /sustainable systems. Following 1.1, these reference systems are production systems including all stages from farming to consumption. We will define counterfactuals for the case-studies for each product (e.g. defining typical farm structures and practices for mainstream organic vegetable production in the UK to compare with an innovative CSA supplying vegetables via direct marketing).

This comparative dataset could be obtained through an analysis of FADN and/or country-specific benchmarking data to construct typical farm structures, practices and supply chains. All partners will be asked to provide relevant national information using available data and proper online survey forms in compliance with a work plan within WP1. After developing the first version of the framework (M 1.2), we will collate feedback from the partners.

Task     1.3       Data collection protocols

This task will support tasks in WP1, 2 and 3 by coordinating both quantitative and qualitative data collection. Many tasks include meetings with food chain stakeholders to collect either qualitative data (e.g. tacit knowledge, opinions, behaviour, etc. collected in interviews, focus groups, etc. with farmers, consumers, etc.) and/or quantitative data (e.g. questionnaires to collect farm input records, consumer information). The task will develop a project-wide protocol for doing so in a consistent way, while putting as little burden as possible on the actors involved. Data needs will be collected from other tasks, including specific research questions, data type, data sources, type of actor interaction, estimated time for data collection, etc. Compiling them will reveal potential synergies between tasks and opportunities for complementary data collection (e.g. combining data collection efforts for different tasks in one farm visit or one focus group). The data collection protocol will streamline data collection efforts in a detailed plan laying out timing of meetings, amount of actors involved, questions asked, etc., i.e. answering to why, when, who, where and how. Moreover, this task will reveal training needs in data collection methods. The protocol will thus also plan within-project training efforts with all partners and case study farmers. This task will thus help support internal communication and yield a comprehensive plan for stakeholder engagement and exploitation.

Milestone       1.1       Guidelines to identify case studies

A common protocol will be agreed and adopted for selection of case studies and inclusion of stakeholders of the relative value chains.

Milestone       1.2       Data collection & compilation guidelines

Guideline to gathering information from literature and available data.

Milestone       1.3       Data needs catalogue

Every task will need to list their specific research questions, the data type needed, the data sources they want to use, the type of actors involved, the type of interaction needed, the estimated time for data collection, etc. These elements will be used as input for the streamlining exercise, which needs to reveal potential synergies and opportunities for complementary data collection and internal training needs in data collection methods.

Deliverable     1.1       Creation of a network of stakeholder

Case studies will be described and analysed, with a particular focus on farms adopting best management practices (e.g. organic and agroforestry farms). The network of cases will also include stakeholders (consumers, SMEs, farmers’ associations, local authorities, etc.) of the relative value chains.

Deliverable     1.2       Report on reference farming systems

The topic of sustainability and innovations in the organic farming sector to be explored in the context of stateof-the-art, illustrated with examples and figures, providing the terms and boundaries relevant for the project.

Deliverable     1.3       Data collection protocols

A detailed plan describing data collection and within-project training efforts. This plan will cross research questions for different tasks with actor engagement events. It answers the questions:

- Why? Which research questions are addressed?

- When? Timing in the project?

- Who? Which actors are engaged and how many of them?

- Where? Location (on-farm, meeting room, etc.)?

- How? Meeting form (interview, focus group, etc.) and methodology (open/closed questions, brainstorm, etc.)?