Oproepen voor experten Focus Groepen EIP

Deadline voor aanmelding voor onderstaande Focus Groepen: 3 april 2018

'New feed for pigs and poultry' - First meeting: 7-8 June 2018

The pig and poultry sectors use substantial amounts of compound feed and this is what largely defines their environmental footprint. Importing feed from elsewhere leads to nutrient imbalances. Producing feed alongside food and biofuels can also lead to competition for land, sometimes at the expense of natural habitats. Applying the principles of the circular economy to feed production chains could potentially mitigate some of these impacts.

There are many opportunities to produce alternative, high quality feed products. This includes, but is not limited to: use of waste food products for feed, appropriate by-products from non-food industries, or unusual sources such as algae production, microbial biomass and insect based alternatives. The Focus Group will look at on-farm and off-farm production, as well as large-scale centralised and smaller-scale decentralised processing systems. Several of these alternatives could offer promising solutions to increase the circularity of livestock production systems and reduce their environmental impact. The actual benefit from those potential solutions would need to be evaluated thanks to advanced life-cycle analysis methodologies.


Focus Group: 'Protecting fruit production from frost damage' - First meeting: 27-28 June 2018

Despite rapid technological advances, open field agriculture remains highly dependent on weather and climate. Climate change is already affecting fruit productivity, and this is expected to become worse. As a result, frost damage has become more and more frequent in recent decades and this is increasingly causing economic losses in agricultural production. The main reason is the occurrence of very low temperature episodes out of the normal season, decreasing the effectiveness of traditional methods to cope with frost. When air temperatures fall below 0°C, frost damage can occur in all plants, but the mechanisms and types of damage vary considerably. Frost damage may affect the entire plant or only a small part of the plant tissue, impairing the yield or product quality.

There are a number of existing active and passive frost protection methods (data, tools, knowledge and technologies) available to farmers, researchers and planners to cope with a variety of weather and climate-related problems in fruit production. However, choosing the protection method which is the most cost-effective depends on local risk of frost as well as other factors. The Focus Group will look at examples of good practices and technologies and how these can be transferred to other situations to benefit the wider sector, paying special attention to approaches related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It will also look at opportunities and barriers, identify knowledge gaps, and propose areas for future research.


Focus Group: 'Reducing food loss on the farm' - First meeting: 12-13 September 2018

Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros. For the primary production sector, the total amount of food waste was estimated to be 9 million tonnes (± 2 million tonnes) in 2012. This corresponds to 18 kilograms per person per year (± 3 kg / person / year) and to an average of 10 kg for every tonne of food produced, meaning a rate of 1 percent. These figures are based on findings of the EU-funded project FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies) which was funded by the EU 7th Framework programme.

The EU and Member States are committed to halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 and reducing food losses along the food production and supply chains (Sustainable Development Goals, September 2015). Food waste prevention is an integral part of the Commission's new Circular Economy Package to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable growth and generate new jobs.

All actors in the food chain have a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste, from those who produce and process foods (farmers, food manufacturers and processors) to those who make foods available for consumption (hospitality sector, retailers) and ultimately consumers themselves. Food loss at the early production stage on the farm is a key step in this chain, with production techniques and transformation on the farm generating losses and by-products that can be re-introduced in the food chain or given value through non-food value chains.

This EIP-AGRI Focus Group will concentrate on the on-farm practices and technologies that have a potential to limit the loss of plant food products, such as cereals, olives and fruit and vegetables, in the European Union and that can provide inspiration for Operational Groups supported under the Rural Development Programmes and for other innovative projects.