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BOBL Project News

The BOBL project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way. The project will develop new, emerging and existing markets for organic produce whilst driving innovation, at all levels, within the supply chain. Contact: Dafydd Owen 01970 622953

Ecological footprinting
The BOBL project is conducting a review of the established tools available for the footprint of the organic supply chain with regard to carbon and other resources. The objective is to help businesses to assess their own resource use and to identify where they may be vulnerable to price increases or resource shortages. The review will be followed up with a seminar for businesses to discuss the conclusions and recommendations.

Quality improvement programmes
A crib sheet of the sources of training and advice which are relevant to people involved in the organic supply chain is being prepared. There are a number of Welsh Assembly Government and EU funded programmes targeted at businesses in Wales. The support these provide is relevant to many individuals and businesses in the organic sector.

EU Organic promotion campaign
Feedback is being sought on the reaction of the organic sector to the introduction of an EU logo. Please email Dafydd Owen with any observations or comment.

Open organic farms
The BOBL project has commissioned the Soil Association to deliver a programme of school visits to organic farms and introducing them to farmers markets. For each year of the two year project events will include 12 farm walks with a farmers market to be held at the schools involved. There will be additional open farm events which will depend on the farms involved but are likely to be themed events such as Organic Easter Egg hunts, Farm Sunday and Organic fortnight. The target is to involve 4,700 participants and to create an on-going sustainable funding route for farm events and community visits. BOBL Field Officers and Supply Chain Development Officer will help identify suitable venues and potential stall-holders at the schools farmers markets. Contact: Dafydd Owen

Developing markets
Further research is being conducted on supporting a presence at the Biofach exhibition in Nuremberg in February 2011. The support and resources available are being investigated and potential exhibitors interested in taking display space will be invited to a meeting later in the spring. Contact: Dafydd Owen.

Changing consumer demands
Beaufort Research are close to completing the review of literature and the stakeholder surveys. They are on target to meet the deadline for the first stage report in early May. Contact: Dafydd Owen.

Dairy calves
A spring date is being arranged for an event in Wales to discuss this issue. The objective is to identify case studies and best practice based on the experience of dairy producers in Wales. Following the seminar a report will be prepared which reviews the extent of the challenge for Welsh dairy producers. There will also be follow up events to ensure all farmers have the opportunity to benefit from the experience gleaned. The seminar will build on the Soil Association's work in other parts of the UK. Contact: Philip Thomas Jones.

Cereals for livestock feed
The possibility of holding one event each in the main cereal growing areas of North and South Wales this autumn is being investigated. The objective of the events would be to bring together arable farmers and introduce them to potential customers. The event would include expertise in novel crops and crop management along with an assessment of the potential demand for livestock feed produced in Wales.

PR Tender
A brief for PR companies interested in bidding for the contract to deliver an integrated PR campaign on behalf of organic producers in Wales is being finalised. The work will deliver across a number of BOBL objectives including media relations (2.2), generic organic food focus (2.3) and EU Organic Promotion (2.4).

Business Survey
As part of its core funding the BOBL project is conducting a survey of the interests of individuals and businesses involved in the organic supply chain. The data gathering and reports will help Field Officers direct the resources available from or through the BOBL project. Completing the survey will enable Field Officers to build up a relationship with individuals and support them as they access training from other WAG and EU supply chain projects. Better knowledge of business interests will enable Field Officers to optimise the participation of those businesses in the projects which will deliver BOBL activities. Contact: Mari Jones.

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