Developed by the Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) the new website is the culmination of a six year project. It brings together key highlights and practical case studies to support businesses across Wales and improve their profitability, sustainability and community engagement.
Highlighting the importance of the work, BOBL Project Director Dafydd Owen said,
“There is so much information about the organic sector in Wales that it can be time consuming for businesses to find the relevant parts. This is true for either those venturing into the market for the first time or those who want to develop their product within the market.
“Over the course of the BOBL project we have gathered information, material and case studies from those working in the sector and we hope this website encapsulates what we've learnt. The website will ensure businesses and enthusiasts will have the best of our resources at their fingertips”.
BOBL, funded by the Welsh Government and EU and working under the auspices of Organic Centre Wales, has over the last six years strived to communicate the benefits of organic agriculture; help the development of the Welsh organic supply chain and promoted community engagement. It has focused its efforts on community engagement by working with organic producers, schools and stakeholders to drive changes to food culture and help educate people about organic farming in Wales.
Project officer Jane Powell, who developed community engagement and education at BOBL, emphasised the importance of this work,
“Looking to the future it is crucial that our children and young people have an understanding of how food is grown and produced. Over the course of the project we worked with schools to help children make the connections with where their food comes from, as very often they don't see it until it ends up on the supermarket shelf. So we made a conscious effort to take them out of the classroom and show them the growing world. The valuable lessons we learnt can be found in the case studies featured on the website.”
Tony Little, supply chain project officer for BOBL, echoed Jane's comments:
“The use of audio visual case studies will make the whole experience more engaging and practical for people who wish to understand more about the process of working organically and appreciate its benefits.”
The website is the culmination of the project's work and includes key highlights, guides and points to consider for consumers and producers. In addition it offers an extensive range of communication tools and materials to help businesses engage with their customers and market their products.
Notes for editors:
1. OCW is the national resource for consumers, farmers and policy makers committed to more sustainable food and farming in Wales. Based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and Aberystwyth University. See www.organiccentrewales.org.uk.
2. BOBL is an Organic Centre Wales project and has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way. The project is developing new, emerging and existing markets for organic produce whilst driving innovation, at all levels, within the supply chain. The overall aim is to support a thriving Welsh organic sector so that the benefits of WG investment in the Organic Farming Scheme to generate agri-environmental benefits, and in the Welsh Organic Action Plan to support rural development and sustainable food production, can be fully realised.