TP Organics’ Science Day at BIOFACH 2021: Innovating for organic food processing – 19 February 2021, online

At TP Organics’ Science Day at BIOFACH’s 2021 e-Special, more than 150 participants learned about ongoing research projects funded by ERA-NET CORE Organic and opportunities for organic companies in Horizon Europe, the upcoming research framework programme of the European Union.

Current research on organic food processing

Gardis von Gersdorff, PhD Student at University of Kassel and project coordinator of SusOrgPlus, presented the CORE Organic project’s main results. The project aims at developing smart processing chains, natural food additives and colorants. One of the findings Gardis shared was that smart drying by reheating drying air makes organic food processing more efficient and climate-friendly. Energy consumption can be reduced by up to 40%.

Flavio Paoletti, Senior Researcher at the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), coordinator of the CORE Organic project ProOrg, presented the progress of the project. ProOrg will provide guidance for choosing careful, minimal, and mild processing methods and has developed ‘Management Guidelines for Organic Processors’ to help them implement regulatory requirements for the organic food sector. An ‘Assessment Framework’ will help to objectively assess the quality of organic food. Ultimately, the strategies and tools will contribute to the sustainable development and innovation in the organic sector, help processors comply with the EU Organic Regulation and optimise organic food processing.

Horizon Europe and the new Food Systems Partnership: Advancing organic through research & innovation

In his presentation of Horizon Europe (Cluster 6), Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, Scientific Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), announced that they are expecting to launch first calls in April 2021. Project proposals should be developed with an eye on targets set in Food 2030 and the European Green Deal, particularly the EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. According to Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, the Farm to Fork strategy’s target of 25% organic land in the EU by 2030 is not yet sufficiently represented across all programmes. Dr. Lutzeyer also pointed out that CORE Organic should find its place in the Food Systems Partnership to maintain networking between organic stakeholders, enable knowledge sharing and push for 25% organic farmland.

The new Food Systems Partnership, to be launched in 2023, was presented in more detail by Hugo de Vries, Research Director at INRAE and member of the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR)’s Strategic Working Group Food Systems (SCAR Food Systems). Hugo de Vries said it will be an interdisciplinary and inclusive partnership that aims at reaching sustainable food systems in the EU and worldwide in the long term. Four different narratives have been developed for the partnership and presented to the European Commission, as well as a consolidated narrative. A factsheet will be published at the end of March. Hugo de Vries stressed that the partnership should aim at disruptive innovations rather than optimisations of food systems only. Inclusive governance needs to ensure all people are heard at a common European level as well as locally. Biodiversity and cultural diversity are basic building blocks of the partnership.

For the presentations, check the event review on TP Organics’ website. The session can be re-watched on the BIOFACH platform until August 2021 if you have a BIOFACH ticket.

Save the dates:

This session is co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Union, under the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The sole responsibility lies with IFOAM Organics Europe. The EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

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