MANAGEMENT OF LOCAL ORGANIC FOOD PROJECTS

MANAGEMENT OF L.O.F. PROJECTS

Organic food growing operations differ from the norms of employment and productivity in many ways. Any attempts to promote and stimulate increased activity in this sector should take full account of their nature.

 

Measures to provide training and employment in this sector should take note of the basic conditions in which cultivation takes place. For instance, outdoor work on cultivation is governed by daylength and weather. Hence it would be unrealistic to insist upon a rigid work pattern throughout the year. Whereas a six hour day may be all that is possible in the winter, summer conditions permit anything up to 18 hours per day. Similarly, the types of jobs undertaken should be appropriate to the time of year, and the daily pattern should take account of excessively hot or cold conditions, such as the dangerous heat and sunlight exposure possible in the middle of hot summer days. The domination of work-patterns by daylength and the weather can be obviated if facilities are provided to permit indoor working when necessary, although it must be noted that this requires the provision of suitable facilities, which may incur extra expenditure and could be inappropriate on sites which are unprotected or liable to vandalism.

 

Projects which are open to public involvement have specific requirements. It is necessary to re-launch and re- advertise such enterprises on an annual basis, taking into account improvements achieved each year. Such projects should aim to provide tasks suitable for all types of individuals and abilities. Where there are identifiable communities associated with projects, the choice of crops and products should be designed to meet their needs as a priority; for instance, food for deprived communities, medicinal herbs for health-related initiatives, demonstration gardens with an emphasis on interpretation in an educational context or ecological practices for environmental organisations.



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