With the current UK agricultural and food policy context about to change with the decision to leave the EU, there is a need for the incorporation of novel ‘participatory’ approaches to knowledge production and innovation. The aim of these activities is to strengthen the adaptability and resilience of farmers to manage this change and be profitable and productive.
Facilitated farmer-led or farmer-centric innovation and research initiatives are an important tool for managing this type of radical change. Rural innovation activities support farm and land-based practitioner led innovation and sharing of best practice. This has a direct impact on food safety, animal welfare, environmental benefits and improving biodiversity.
Four examples of our activities are provided here:
- Creating a European innovation in agriculture e-knowledge platform. The EURAKNOS Project
- Farmbook – an open source e-platform. The EUREKA Project
- Farmer-Led Innovation Network (FLIN)
- Identifying and increasing sustainable practices along the supply and production chains of the European livestock sector. The PATHWAYS Project
Farmer-Led Innovation Network (FLIN)
A Farmer-Led Innovation Network (FLIN) was established in October 2018 to share knowledge and experiences and provide a collective advocacy voice for farmers. The network brings together approximately 1,500 farmers directly involved in farmer-led innovation across the UK. The main aim is to understand, learn from and ‘power-up’ farmer-led innovation initiatives and increase their economic, environmental and social impact across the industry. Over 20 organisations are part of the network, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, research institutes, the levy board, farmer organisations and advisory services.