The European Commission is launching a call for experts such as farmers, foresters, advisers, scientists and other relevant actors for five new EIP-AGRI Focus Groups. Focus Groups are temporary groups of selected experts focusing on a specific subject, sharing knowledge and experience. Each Focus Group meets twice and produces a recommendations and outcomes report within a year. These Focus Groups will start working in March 2020 and are expected to present their results and recommendations by January 2021. If you are interested in becoming an expert member in the name of Euromontana in any of these focus groups, please contact Marie Clotteau. The deadline for applications is 23 January 2020 23:59 hrs CET (Brussels time)
Focus group “Wildlife and agricultural production”
First meeting: 5-6 May 2020
In many areas across Europe, farming activities might be negatively impacted by wild animals. These may include mammals, such as bears, wolves, deer and wild boars; and birds. Wild animals can cause both direct and indirect damage to agricultural production and related activities, which may lead to heavy economic losses for farms. Direct damage includes loss of livestock from carnivore attacks, especially in extensive livestock farming such as pastoralism.
The Focus Group will for instance map the most common types of damage caused by wild animals on farms across Europe and help identify strengths and weaknesses of available solutions at the farm level that can help prevent, monitor and control wildlife damage to agricultural production. Experts will also collect good farming practices to limit wild animals’ damages, including large carnivores, and will identify opportunities for innovative solutions and formulate recommendations.
Focus group “Sustainable beef production systems”
First meeting: 28-29 April 2020
The sustainability of the beef sector is currently the subject of lively discussion in Europe and world-wide. While the sector faces challenges, for instance linked to climate change, the market is also shaken by new consumers’ interests and misinformation on the environmental footprint of beef meat. Against this backdrop, grass-based beef production systems based on agroecology principles, e.g. in low productive grassland areas, mixed farming systems and agroforestry provide ecosystem services and public goods. They contribute to improving biodiversity, sequestering carbon, developing the soil microbiome, managing the landscape, preventing erosion and forest fires. In addition, they transform resources which are non-edible to humans into human food with a high nutritional value and play a role in maintaining vital rural areas.
The Focus Group will consider innovative approaches that could provide benefits to the different aspects of sustainable beef production: environmental, social and economic, such as agroforestry. It will also investigate on innovative communication models to better disseminate information about sustainable beef production among citizens and consumers.
Other Focus Groups
Focus group “Sustainable industrial crops in Europe: new market opportunities and business models which do not replace food production”
First meeting: 13-14 May 2020
This group aims to gather existing knowledge and relevant practical experience and good practices in farming industrial crops on different types of agricultural land in Europe without replacing food production. Participants will identify the strengths and weaknesses of crops value chains and inspiring examples in growing industrial crops in Europe while not replacing food production.
Focus group “Reducing the plastic footprint of agriculture”
First meeting: 19-20 May 2020
In order to address the problems posed by the current use of plastics in EU agriculture and to minimise the potential harmful effects on the environment and on human health in the future, this Focus Group will identify the main use of plastics in farming activities and explore opportunities to reduce its use.
Focus group “Climate-smart (sub)tropical food crops in the EU”
First meeting: 13-14 May 2020
This Focus Group aims to promote a better understanding of current farming practices for (sub)tropical crops and to facilitate knowledge and innovation exchange between farmers, researchers, farm advisers and other relevant actors in the EU continental and outermost regions.
You can find all the relevant information as well as guidelines for the application in the call for experts (practical experience, familiarity with the topic, motivation, qualifications, etc.). The deadline for applications is 23 January 2020 23:59 hrs CET (Brussels time)
Each Focus Group consists of up to 20 experts: farmers, advisers, scientists and, where appropriate, representatives from industry, civil society or other relevant actors. Experts will be chosen according to their qualifications, based on proven expertise to support the progress of the Focus Group (relevant information to be submitted via the application form). The European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, will nominate the group experts.
The EIP-AGRI Service Point provides travel and accommodation for Focus Group participants, see terms and conditions in annex 2. Please note that there will be no translation, it is essential that group members are able to express themselves in English. Selected experts will need to be available to participate in both meetings.12 December 2019