Sustainable Innovation Pilots

Pilot Overview

The pilots are focused on innovation implementation and co-design, pilot, validation and assessment of the approaches against their economic, environmental and social performance along the agri food sector. The pilots could be farmers, cooperatives, policy makers, food industry companies, technological companies, advisory services, universities, research centers, SMEs and service providers whose main objectives are, arable horticulture, green houses, perennials, livestock and dairy production.

1. The Support of a Frozen Fruit Value Chain Consisting of Small Farmers

Fruit producers in Greece, like Proodos Farmers’ Union, face sustainability problems, as their farms are small, fragmented and in different microclimate zones, facing high inputs costs, lack of financial resources for investments, and they use old production methods that result in increased inputs consumption while damaging the environment. Thus, it is needed to reduce their production costs and increase their revenues in an environmentally friendly way.

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2. Better food-chain contracts for improved durum wheat production.

Durum wheat is the most relevant small-grain cereal for human food cropped in Italy. However, there is an unbalanced demand and offer and the Italian production covers about 70% of domestic needs. The challenge for this SIP will be the improvement of contract conditions, linked to the introduction of novel technologies helping farmers in the sustainable management of the crop, in order to benefit all actors in the value chain.

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3. Empowering consumers through crowdsourcing to regain control over their food and create healthy, sustainable, fair trade products.

During the “milk crisis” in France, a group of consumers created the “C’est qui le patron?!” (Who is the boss?) brand with the aim of supporting the development of the agri-food sector. This is achieved by letting the consumers design their products through a crowdsourcing platform, voting against a variety of sustainability characteristics, deciding how much they will pay to retailer and the producer. “C’est qui le Patron ?!” is the most successful model of the last 30 years in France, supporting 4,000 producer and farmer families, and is supported by 14 million consumers. France now has more than 30 products in stores.

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4. Traceability solutions covering the Horticulture Greenhouse Value Chain to improve overall efficiency,sustainability performance and brand recognition.

SIP4 focuses on the horticulture greenhouse value chain in Spain, addressing challenges such as need for improvements in each step of the value chain, providing the technologies for assuring the provision of sufficient information to consumers, the improvements to minimize the impact on the environment and maximize economic yields.

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5. Smart Farming on rural farms demonstrating its benefit in the wider agri-food community and co-creating new food products and services.

Farming is the mainstay of rural areas, as employment in and income form this sector directly benefits the locality. The integration of farming enterprises with related value chains, such as agri-tourism or food tourism would have positive cumulative effects.

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6. Applying soil-passport approach and precision farming technologies in Slovenia to increase soil health and sustainability as a whole.

Soil health is very important for food production and preservation of nature in general. Traditional techniques of soil sampling, analysing and preparation of respective fertilization plans as well as the traditional agricultural practices in the field, are resulting in irrational use of phyto-products and fertilizers and as consequence degradation of soil health.

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7. Supporting wine producers in taking advantage of the changes in labelling regulations - Cyprus

Small wine grapes producers and wineries need ways to increase their efficiency, reduce costs and get better prices to match good sustainability practices they apply. An opportunity could arise from regulatory changes. The wine value chain would like to include other information to promote their products to the consumers, presenting the added value of their products in terms of quality, locality and applied good sustainability practices.

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8. Carbon Farming: compensating farmers for climate friendly management.

The sequestration of atmospheric carbon in organic, agricultural soils can be influenced by soil management. Natural processes in the soil make soil it the biggest carbon sink on land. ‘Carbon Farming’ focuses on agricultural soil management that optimizes these processes and therefore the amount of atmospheric carbon that is sequestered in the soil.

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9. Facilitating the transfer of surplus food from farms to socially disadvantaged groups, by aligning logistics and processes.

Food waste in Serbia is a big problem to ecology and sustainable development, with over 250,000 tons of food thrown annually. Voluntarily donating food does not bring tax breaks to retail chains in Serbia, which is a practice in the EU. The existence of VAT on donations does not allow producers and distributors to donate surplus food, which is then destroyed. Similar challenges are faced also in N. Macedonia. Processes of destroying food has a very bad influence on environment and are expensive for farmers and local food producers.

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10. Increase sustainability in the grapevine sector by introducing payments for ecosystem services - Italy

There is an increasing interest in the Payment of Ecosystem Services (PESs). Viticulture provides multiple ecosystem services to the whole community. However, Carbon Credits (CCs) saved by farmers through proper vineyard management are not currently remunerated. There is an increasing voluntary market, in which CCs can be sold to industries and individuals willing to voluntarily compensate for their emissions or provide an additional contribution to mitigating climate change.

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11. Introduction of IoT solutions through NADIA platform to the agro-food sector and generate synergies between tourism and agriculture- Balearic Islands, Spain

The Balearic Island’s agricultural sector manages 85 per cent of the whole land surface. However, their economic activity is based on a very busy tourism sector. The islands’ economic, social and environmental sustainability depend on balancing the two sectors, tourism and agri-food. The agri-food sector lags behind the other sectors in terms of innovation and adoption of the new disruptive technologies, which will allow them to be more competitive and to generate more synergies with the tourism sector, increasing therefore its income and positive impact.

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