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TP Organics: Organic Stakeholder Forum presents draft of Strategic Research Agenda

On July 15, 2009, the research Technology Platform ‘TP Organics’ held its annual Stakeholder Forum in Brussels and presented the first draft of its second major publication – the TP Organics Strategic Research Agenda.

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According to a recent press release of the Technology Platform TP Organics, this was an important further step in developing concrete research ideas that would work towards making better use of organic food production and reinforcing its contributions to the solutions for global challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity, food security and migration from rural areas.

The broad participation of different stakeholders - enterprises (SMEs and Enterprises Network), consumer associations, farmers’ associations and NGOs as well as representatives of the European Commission – proved the increasing interest in developing organic sustainable food systems and eco-innovations in the agriculture and food sectors and the potential economic possibilities for operators.

During the Stakeholder Forum the participants discussed and commented on the three main areas of the TP Organic Strategic Research Agenda - Empowerment of Rural Areas, Eco-functional Intensification, Food for Health and Well-being, and the key challenges they present for the future of European farming.

Several new topics that strongly call for research were singled out during the discussion and added to the TP Organics Strategic Research Agenda. In particular, the stakeholders asked for a focus on the saving and management of water in agriculture and on strategies to face climate change. The organic sector has a high capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. This potential has to be further investigated and transformed into practice.

Furthermore, the meeting highlighted the need for research on “healthier food for animals and humans” and on “methods to assess food quality and vitality”. Particular topics to stress on were: “the relation between farm management and food quality”, “the relation between processing technologies and food quality” and the “effect on health and well-being in animals and humans consuming food of different qualities”. 

Source: Press release of TP Organics, Brussels, of July 16, 2009

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