The Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca in Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica (English name: Italian Foundation for Research in Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture) was set up in 2008 by organic and biodynamic farmer, environmental and labour associations with the financial support of private organic companies, farms and not-for-profit organisations.
FIRAB promotes applied research in low input farming through a participatory approach, also through farmer-to-farmer exchange, and operates technical and scientific dissemination. FIRAB competencies range between agronomic and economic research in the field of organic and sustainable farming.
Most of FIRAB activities are focused on supporting local organic farmers through regional and national projects. FIRAB has a specific know-how and project responsibilities in assessing agroenvironmental performance of organic agriculture, agroecology, participatory research, agricultural biodiversity. FIRAB has also coordinated a monitoring project on experimental and training regional centres. It provides scientific coordination of research activities in organic wine productions. Moreover the Foundation has been carrying out economic surveys and assessments on Italian organic produce export in Europe, on organic product prices in different distribution channels and on economic impact assessments following market shocks, commissioned by the ISMEA (the Italian Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market). FIRAB acts as consultant for the pasta company Barilla on sustainable wheat farming and runs an annual MSc thesis award on organic and agroecology farming.
At European level, FIRAB is scientific coordinator of the GLAMUR project (Global and Local food chain Assessment: a multidimensional performance-based approach) and partner in the Transmango (Assessment of the impact of drivers of change on Europe’s food and nutrition security) and the STABIWINE (use of biopolymers for sustainable stabilization of quality wines) projects, all funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme for research.
FIRAB is member of the EU and Italian organic technology platforms and its experts contribute to policy analysis issuing specific policy recommendations. FIRAB runs an annual MSc thesis award on organic and agroecology farming.