Pathways to phase-out contentious inputs from organic agriculture in Europe
logo del progetto organic-plus
Horizon 2020
Call / Bando: 
Challenge 2 - Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
Settore ERC: 
Life Sciences
Ruolo Unict: 
Durata del progetto in mesi: 
Data inizio: 
Martedì, 1 Maggio 2018
Data fine: 
Lunedì, 30 Maggio 2022
Costo totale: 
€ 4.121.527,25
Quota Unict: 
€ 101.963,75
Università di Coventry (U.K.)
Responsabile/i per Unict: 
Gabriella Cirvilleri
Dipartimenti e strutture coinvolte: 
Dipartimento di Agricoltura Alimentazione e Ambiente
Altri partner: 

Panepistimio thessalias (Greece), institut national de la recherche agronomique (France), universita degli studi di padova (Italy), universitaet hohenheim (Germany), aarhus universitet (Denmark), politechnika czestochowska (Poland), landbrug & fodevarer f.m.b.a. (Denmark), institut de recerca i tecnologia agroalimentaries (Spain), instituto andaluz de investigaciony formacion agraria pesquera alimentaria y de la produccion ecologica (Spain), ministry of food agriculture and livestock (Turkey), ekolojik tarim organizasyonu dernegi (Turkey), stiftelsen norsk senter for okologisk landbruk (Norway), eidgenoessische forschungsanstalt wsl (Switzerland), sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (Sweden), universita degli studi di Parma (Italy), aberystwyth university (United Kingdom), institut d enseignement superieur et de recherche en alimentation sante animale sciences agronomiques etde l environnement vetagro sup (France), leibniz-institut fuer agrartechnik und biooekonomie ev (Germany), royal horticultural society (United Kingdom), the soil association limited (United Kingdom), forschungsring fur biologisch-dynamische wirtschaftsweise ev (Germany), departament d'interior - generalitat de catalunya (Spain), oslomet – storbyuniversitetet (Norway)


The Organic-PLUS project has the overall aim of providing high quality, trans-disciplinary, scientifically informed decision support to help all actors in the organic sector, including national and regional policy makers, to reach the next level of the EU’s organic success story. By doing so organic food systems can be more true to organic principles but equally to the EU Bioeconomy agenda.

Organic-PLUS objectives are to:

  1. identify and valorise contentious inputs currently used in European agriculture
  2. provide specific technical solutions to minimise or phase-out their use
  3. provide environmental, social and economic assessments of phase-out scenarios
  4. disseminate and broker knowledge, ideas and results to maximise impact.

We use a trans-disciplinary research approach; the consortium includes 11 universities and 15 multi-actors from 9 EU and 3 associated countries. We combine scientists from many academic disciplines with advisors, farmers and other stakeholders in participatory research design. Organic-PLUS has three large ‘topical’ workpackages called PLANT (researching alternatives to copper and mineral oils), LIVESTOCK (researching alternatives to synthetic vitamins, antibiotics and novel animal bedding) and SOIL (researching alternatives to peat, animal-derived fertilisers and plastic mulch). The topical work is supported by IMPACT (researching consumer conceptions of contentious inputs and disseminating knowledge together with stakeholders) and by MODEL (using sustainability assessment methodology to deliver phasing-out scenarios). The LEAD workpackage is also responsible for managing the International Scientific and the European Industry advisory boards ensuring impact to industry and policy development.