Opportunity for two individuals to travel within UK, Italy, Spain and Turkey to learn more about organic production systems.

22nd June 2021

As part of its involvement in an Erasmus e-Organic international research project, NSA is providing the opportunity for two individuals to visit farms and research institutes in the UK, Spain, Italy and Turkey. The study trips will cover all types of organic livestock systems, including sheep, and are almost fully funded by the project.

The visits are five days in Italy this September, up to five days within the UK in the New Year, five days in Spain in Spring 2022 and up to three days in Turkey later in 2022. Funding will cover flights, accommodation and most meals, with attendees only expected to cover their travel to and from a UK airport, sundry expenses and travel insurance. There may also be funding to cover Covid-19 testing if this is required by the host countries, although it looks more likely at this stage that only proof of two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be necessary.

NSA is looking for two attendees for all the visits, not different people for the different trips. Attendees will be required to attend all the designated days in Italy, Spain and Turkey (13 days overseas, plus travel, with involvement in the NSA-hosted visit for the partners to the UK to be confirmed) and to submit a short, written account of each visit to NSA when they return home.

Trip to Italy – Monday 20th to Friday 24th September 2021

  • Host: HUMUS (the social network for Italian Bioagriculture).
  • Venue: Cascina Santa Brera, a working organic farm (pigs, poultry, arable and horticulture) with an agritourism hospitality venue providing organic catering, accommodation, cultural and educational activities.
  • Travel: Flight from any UK airport to Milan on Sunday 19th September, leaving late on Friday 24th September or on Saturday 25th September.
  • Itinerary: Two days of discussion about organic production systems (attendees can opt out of some sessions if they are not relevant) and three days of visits to organic livestock farms. Content will cover sheep, dairy, beef and goats and, to a lesser extent, pigs and poultry.

UK-hosted trip – Planned for January or February 2022, depending on Covid-19 travel restrictions. The focus will be sheep (and cattle) for this session, with a mix of technical presentations and farm visits. The itinerary will be available towards the end of this year.

Trips to Spain and Turkey – Two separate trips in Spring/Summer, by September 2022 at the latest. The Spanish trip will be similar to the Italian one, with two days of discussion and three days of farm visits. The Turkish trip is likely to be just farm visits. Itineraries will be provided nearer the time.

To put yourself forward for this opportunity, please send an expression of interest to Joanne Briggs, NSA Operations Director. This should be a short description of yourself and why you would benefit from the opportunity sent to [email protected]. Alternatively, contact Joanne with any questions by sending an email or calling 07973 726048. Applicants must be involved in organic livestock farming (preferably sheep) either as a producer or an ancillary service. Applicants are expected to be an NSA member but this is not compulsory. Closing date for expressions of interest is Monday 12th July.

Additional information

  • Travel dates. The funding is reliant on full attendance from Monday 20th to Friday 24th September, so NSA can only draw down the money if the flight details show travel on Sunday 19th September and either late Friday 24th September or sometime on Saturday 25th September. The same will apply to the Spanish and Turkish trips when those are confirmed in 2022. There is flexibility to extend visits, if an attendee wants to remain in the host country for longer, but trips cannot be any shorter.
  • Covid-19 considerations. Currently UK visitors to Italy have to provide a negative coronavirus test result before boarding a flight, and quarantine for five days on arrival. It is anticipated the quarantine requirements will have been lifted by September; if not the trip will not go ahead (due to the cost of an extra five days in a hotel in Italy). Currently UK residents have to self-isolate for 10 days when returning from Italy. Again, it is anticipated that this will have changed by September; if not the trip will still go ahead (as there is no additional cost for a UK resident to self-isolate in their own home). Please bear this in mind if you want to apply to attend.
  • Background. NSA’s involvement in this project is to work with research partners in Italy, Spain and Turkey to produce a series of e-lectures and an e-learning platform for farmers and academics to access and benefit from. Each of the trips overseas will include a session where the various partners discuss progress on this (which NSA staff will join virtually) and attendees representing NSA can choose if they want to be involved or not. If you want to know more about these e-lectures, their content and the process of putting them together, please indicated this in your expression of interest.
Sheep will be included in the overseas study trips, but are only one of several focus species.
Sheep will be included in the overseas study trips, but are only one of several focus species.