ICROFS International Centre for Research in Organic Food systems
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ICROFS Research

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ICROFS Research

The European Union supports organic research in Europe.



The main idea of CORE organic is to coordinate research programmes between the 21 partner countries.


TP Organics

TP Organics is a European technology platform fororganic food and farming research. Read more...


The EU research project SOLID on Sustainable Organic and Low Input Dairying runs from 2011-2016. Read more...


The EU project, VOA3R, is aimed at sharing scientific and scholarly research related to agriculture, food, and environment. Read more...



ICROFS Research

Danish R&D


Organic RDD 2
The danish Organic Research, Development and Demonstration Programme, RDD 2, runs from 2014-2018.


Organic RDD
The Danish Organic Research, Developmnent and Demonstration Programme, ran from 2011-2013.

The research programme DARCOF III ran in 2006- 2010 and consisted of 15 individual projects.



Cow - ICROFS International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems



The International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) was founded in 2008. The centre is an expansion of the former Danish Agricultural Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF), which the Danish Government decided to provide with an international mandate and an international board.


The vision of ICROFS or the "Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)" is that


"the principles of organic agriculture have become a global reference for sustainability in agriculture and food systems due to evidence based on research and adaptive management."


Read the pdf leaflet about ICROFS...


A centre without walls

The International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) is a "centre without walls," where the research is performed in interdisciplinary collaboration between research groups in different institutions and universities.


The Centre will contribute to the coordination, management and performance of strategic and user oriented, high quality research at the national as well as the international level, on the basis of the organic philosophy and organic principles and issues.



ICROFS is headed by a Board of directors consisting of research leaders and stakeholders from Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Denmark. The board
will develop and evaluate the Centre's vision and strategy for enhancing international research in organic food systems.


Further, to oversee and advise on the Centre's national research and development activities in Denmark, a Danish programme committee has been appointed, with representatives from universities, farmers' associations and NGOs affiliated with organic farming.


As the coordinating centre for Danish research in organic farming, researchers working on the so-called DARCOF III research projects remain in their own research environment but collaborate across institutes. This type of collaboration currently implicates about 100 research scientists working at nearly 20 different institutes.


The ICROFS secretariat consists of eight scientific and communication staff.



The secretariat of ICROFS initiates, coordinates, and participates in national and international research activities in organic farming and food systems. It is also very active in disseminating organic research results and knowledge on the importance of organic food systems to the environment, nature and biodiversity, animal welfare, health, food safety and quality, economy, structural and market development as well as social significance. Moreover, the Centre promotes understanding of the characteristics of organic food systems and contributes to a knowledge-based development of organic food systems, nationally and internationally.


Research facilities and infrastructure

Over time, several organic research facilities have been set up, which allow close cooperation between different research environments. Since 1996, long-term organic crop rotation trials have been performed on four locations in Denmark. The crop rotations have different proportions of legumes, cereals, and catch crops and are carried out on different soil types, and with different levels of manure.


The aim of the crop rotation trials is to investigate how type of rotation affects yields, nutrient balances, weed and disease problems, soil fertility and emission of greenhouse gasses.


European cooperation

ICROFS participates in the EU research Framework Programmes and has coordinated several projects. The Centre is an active partner in ISOFAR (International Society of Organic Agriculture Research) and FQH (Organic Food Quality and Health research network). Moreover, ICROFS has participated in the development of the European vision for an Organic Food and Farming Research Agenda 2025: "Organic knowledge for the future" and is an active partner in the technology platform TP Organics.


CORE Organic

ICROFS coordinates the FP6 ERA-net, CORE Organic (Coordination of European Transnational Research in Organic Food and Farming), in which public funding bodies of 11 European countries worked together and funded eight trans-national research projects. The collaboration now includes more than 20 countries in the CORE Organic Fund Body Network, which is open to all European countries having or intending to have a funding programme on research in organic food systems. Building on the success of CORE Organic, a second ERA-net, "CORE Organic II" will be proposed under FP7 with 25 partners.


Research programmes

ICROFS is presently managing the third consecutive Danish research programme in Organic Food and Farming. The title of the initiative is "DARCOF III - International research cooperation and organic integrity." The research programme consists of 15 projects with a total budget of approx. 23 million for the period 2006-2010.


The aim of the current research programme, DARCOF III, is:

  • to initiate and coordinate research, which on the
    basis of the organic principles develops integrity
    and efficiency in the organic food chain "from
    farmer to consumer"
  • to provide more knowledge on the potential
    contribution of organic farming to a sustainable
    development of society
  • to ensure a high international level of research
    quality and maximum utilization of the allocated
    research resources
  • to strengthen European and international
    collaboration on research and research education
    in organic farming and food production
  • to ensure relevance and application of the
    research through communication and cooperation
    with research users and research communities

Organic Eprints offers open access

ICROFS hosts and administrates Organic Eprints (www.orgprints.org), the Open Source archive for publications and information materials in organic research. Here, researchers can deposit and share their information with colleagues, students and stakeholders worldwide. As by medio 2008, the archive has 7,500 deposited papers and 9,000 registered users. There are more than 5,000 daily visits to the archive from countries all around the world. Organic Eprints additionally serves as
platform for submission of congress papers, such as those submitted to the Organic World Congress (OWC) in Modena 2008.


Expertise in dissemination

Dissemination of the research results is a central activity in ICROFS. Dissemination is achieved mainly through web-based media, such as public homepages, newsletters, video presentations from field activities, platforms for corporate work and web portals. Presently, there are more than 4500 subscribers to the newsletters that ICROFS issue as part of the dissemination activities.


Also, for corporate project management, internal newsletters are issued and intranet sites are provided based on specific project management software.

Besides the web-based activities, ICROFS has a long-time experience in organization of field days for farmers and stakeholders, thematic workshops and organic congresses. ICROFS has been the co-organizer of the Joint European Organic Congress in Odense (DK) that attracted more than 1,000 participants and we contribute to organic researcher conferences internationally such as the ORganic World Conference of IFOAM/ISOFAR and regional conferences.


Organic Eprints

Since 2002, the Centre has developed and open-access archive for research papers in organic agriculture, Organic Eprints. In 2003, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, FiBL, joined the project as an international partner. Later, also the Bundesprogram Ökologischer Landbau, BÖL, joined the project. Organic Eprints has more than 5,000 visits a day (www.orgprints.org).


European cooperation
ICROFS coordinates European trans-national research concerned with organic food and farming systems under the headline of Core Organic. Moreover, ICROFS is actively involved in a European research project on improving the organic certification system


ICROFS Organisation

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