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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

ORF-4R Evaluation for Organic Regenerative Farming

Our activities focus on SE Spain, which covers more than 1.000.000 hectares of semiarid steppes. The region suffers an intense process of desertification triggered by a severe aridity and water scarcity, overgrazing, water overexplotation, land degradation, rural abandonment, and high unemployment rates. These drivers have led to serious environmental problems and especially to a generalized soil degradation process. This undermines the potential for commercial farming in the future. Other consequences are people's lack of inspiration and poor economic development in this territory.

Developed by Almendrehesa S.L.(in collaboration with Commonland and Alvelal Asociation)

Our start-up company Almendrehesa, S.L. has been created in september of 2016 as an enterprise within a larger-scale landscape restoration initiative in Southeast Andalucia, one of the areas of the world with the highest risk of desertification.

TRL6. Prototype system verified
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment. Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. There are different existing tools to evaluate sustainability like SMART, SAFA, MESMIS or RISE. Most are based on FAO standards for sustainability. We will test the RISE tool for our test because it has been applied in the practice in many countries of the world, except in Spain and under the special focus on Organic Regenerative Agriculture. Numerous institutions have already worked with RISE, e.g. Nestlé, Danone or the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

To carry out the work of ORF-4R evaluation, the assessment tool RISE, developed by the BERN UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCE – SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURAL, FOREST AND FOOD SCIENCE (HAFL) will be tested for suitability in our project. RISE is a computer-supported method, which facilitates a holistic assessment of agricultural operations. The evaluation is based on ten indicators that reflect environmental, economic and social aspects. The evaluated data are visualized as a sustainability polygon and serve as a basis to a feedback dialogue in which the farmer and the trained RISE consultant jointly identify potentials for improving farm sustainability performance.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The effectiveness of this evaluation depends a lot on the collaboration of the farmers and also the knowledge of their own work, In many cases, especially the knowledge about economic data of their farms is very limited. 2) The motivation and knowledge of the farmers are related and important points which define the speed of the progress. Many of the measures of regenerative farming are different to its normal farming methods also with organic certification. Due to its traditional mentality changes can be implemented only step by step. It is also important that they understand well these measures, and then knowledge could foster this progress. 3) On the market side, there is an increasing sensibility for products from really holistic projects as ours and the disposition to pay an incentive for these products. Regarding this, not all companies evaluate this issue and there must be a special marketing effort to find those ones that may be especially opened for our project. http://almendrehesa.es/ https://www.commonland.com/en https://www.alvelal.net/ https://www.hafl.bfh.ch/en/research-consulting-services/agriculturl- science/sustainability-and-ecosystems/sustainability-assessment/rise.html

Added value
The implementation of the special organic ORGANIC REGENERATIVE FARMING – 4 RETURN (ORF- 4R) evaluation and certification has the aim to show future customers the state of implementation of organic-regenerative agriculture on every farm and its products and to provide certain guarantee for its origin. Its a measure to increase the confidence and security of the customers in the purchased products. This serves also as a base to distinguish the quality of work and the advance of the farmers and serves as a mirror to them to see their own state of advance in implementing organic regenerative farm technics. So it allows to pay incentives to the farmers and to justify higher prices on the market with a guarantee to be organic regenerative or in transiction to organic regenerative farming. This certification is important within a transparent marketing strategy for selling organic regenerative products which all will be also EU organic certified according to the Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and Council. In the web of the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), founded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this institution writes about the demand for sustainable sourcing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : “European buyers are becoming much more involved in the sustainable management of the natural resources they use. In some cases they do so through ownership, but in most cases CSR is integrated in their requirements through surveys, declarations or codes of conduct and their documentation. Buyers expect you to make your supply chains more transparent and traceable to them, and take more responsibility for the sustainability of your products: legally (e.g. collection permits, compliance with local legislation), economically (e.g. fair contracting with suppliers) and socially (e.g. fair pay, health and safety)……”. So developping OREG4R evaluation will contribute to this transparency including ecological, social and ethical criteria. Our approach promotes the restoration of biodiversity and soils, including carbon sequestration, by applying ORGANIC REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE under the holistic model of the 4RETURN PHILOSOPHY developed by the Dutch foundation Commonland. To motivate these activities, we market the products from this territory which are sustainable from ecological, economic and social perspectives, altogether aimed at improving the well-being of people inhabiting disfavoured rural areas. A first market test at the national and European level has been carried out successfully. This creates at the same time business and marketing opportunities and an added value for the farmers. Applying these practices, an environment of inspiration and motivation is created which help farmers to continue their efforts in creating new positive perspectives for the development of the region.

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