OK-Net Ecofeed

25 February 2021

Key Farming Practices: 
Novel crops
Diverse leys
Low input varieties
Homegrown feed
Research type: 
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773911


A key objective of organic farming is the closing of nutrient cycles but it is difficult to achieve. To a large extent, feed and livestock production, particularly of pigs and poultry, are concentrated in different regions of Europe, and animal feed (especially proteins) has to be imported from regions far away. Organic farmers also struggle to source protein feed of organic quality.

OK-Net EcoFeed (Organic Knowledge Network on Monogastric Animal Feed) is a 3-year project coordinated by IFOAM EU and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims to help organic pig and poultry farmers achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed.

The project consortium consists of 11 partners and 8 third linked parties covering 11 European countries and includes feed processors and mills, farmers and farmer’s organisations, research institutes, universities and advisory agencies. The Organic Research Centre (ORC) and Soil Association are UK partners.

OK-Net Ecofeed builds on the experiences of the OK-Net Arable project; it was within this project that the web-based knowledge exchange platform ‘Organic Farm Knowledge’ was set up and has been developed further for the OK-Net EcoFeed project, a logical continuation of making the bridge between feed cultivation over feed processing to animal production.

Have a read of this factsheet produced by the ORC which sets the project in more context.


The overall aim is to help farmers, breeders and the organic feed processing industry achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed for monogastrics - particularly pigs, broilers, laying hens and parents of broilers and laying hens.

There are four objectives:

  • Collate and communicate scientific and practical knowledge currently available about organic and regional feed production for monogastrics
  • Create a European network of innovation groups to facilitate exchange and co-creation of knowledge among farmers, businesses, researchers and advisors
  • Collect end-user material and develop new tools adapted for businesses and farmers.
  • Include the topic of monogastric animal feed within the Organic Farm Knowledge platform


The main project outputs are building a European network of innovation groups to facilitate exchange and co-creation of knowledge among farmers, businesses, researchers and advisors, and collecting end-user material and developing new tools for farmers and businesses.

All resources - both produced during the project and previous to the project but identified as being valuable knowledge to build upon - can be found in the ‘Animal husbandry’ section of the Organic Farm Knowledge platform. They take the form of ‘tools’ (which can include resources such as leaflets, manuals and videos), some of which have been summarised as practice abstracts.

View tools that are resources on Agricology below...

Feeding insects for organic layers video and OK-Net EcoFeed Practice Abstract

Foraging of pigs in outdoor areas (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)

Plants and planting designs for organic poultry ranges

Ration Planning Tool and User's Manual: Poultry and Swine - tool for farmers to use with advisors

Browse some of the other tools particularly relevant information for UK farmers below...

Blog - 'Feeding pigs and poultry on 100% organic and regional feed - what have we learned in the OK-Net EcoFeed project?'

The ORC's Lindsay Whistance reflects on what has been learnt in the project and presents results from tools tested by the Innovation Groups in her blog.

Farmer profile and podcast

Read and listen to UK organic poultry farmer Mike Mallett talk about why and how he is endeavouring to achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed as part of an Agricology farmer profile and podcast...

Access the full farmer profile here.

'Feeding Pigs and Poultry on Regionally Produced and Organic Feed' video

Innovative Farmers hosted an OK-Net EcoFeed session at the ORFC Global conference which included UK farmer Mike Mallett talking about his aims to produce eggs from a soya free diet and a sprouting seeds trial. The session also included looking at two systems that could potentially replace soya as a protein source: insects and duckweed, and explored the potential of European soya being used as an alternative to US and South American soya bean meal, reducing emissions associated with transport while growing soya on existing arable land and without causing deforestation.

Find out information about Innovative Farmers field labs:

CREATED BY: Janie Caldbeck

The information contained above reflects the views of the author/s and does not necessarily reflect that of Agricology and its partners.