TP Organics welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2021 to 2027 but urges the European Parliament and Members States to ensure Horizon Europe makes a clear choice for sustainable development.

Under the European Commission’s proposal €10 billion will be dedicated to the “Food and Natural Resources” cluster in the “Global Challenges” pillar. According to the proposal, this budget will be used to support the transition to sustainable consumption and production and restoring planetary health.

Eduardo Cuoco, Head of Secretariat of TP Organics, says: “The proposal links the objectives of ‘Food and Natural Resources‘ to the Sustainable Development Goals, but is not clear how these will be achieved. TP Organics calls for a Mission for Sustainable Food & Farming Systems guided by organic and agroecological principles. This means promoting circular systems, building on systemic interactions, using diverse crops and animals, relying on biological processes for soil fertility and controlling pests. It involves better integration of land, food and farming policies, setting up fair and transparent supply chains and promoting sustainable diets.”

While the budget breakdown for Horizon Europe, devotes the biggest share of funding, €52.7 billion to the 2nd pillar “global challenges”, TP Organics is concerned that the pillar will prioritise industrial competitiveness over societal challenges and sustainable development.

Karin Ulmer, Steering Committee member of TP Organics says: “The proposal for Horizon Europe suggests merging ’industrial competitiveness‘ and ’global challenges’ in the same pillar. Blurring both objectives risks limiting the already-scarce funding available for addressing societal challenges, and importantly may exclude research approaches that deliver public goods rather than private benefits. We call for a specific pillar for research and innovation that will help Europe to reach the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.”

TP Organics

TP Organics is one of the 41 European Technology Platforms (ETP) officially recognised by the European Commission. Its mission is to strengthen research & innovation for organics and other agroecological approaches that contribute to sustainable food and farming systems. To achieve this mission, it unites companies, farmers, consumers, civil  society  organisations and researchers active  in  the  organic value chain from production, input & supply, to food processing, marketing and consumption in Europe.

TP Organics is proposing a Mission for a Transition towards Sustainable Food & Farming Systems guided by organic and agroecological principles aiming at following goals to be achieved by 2030:

  • Increased farmland managed according to organic and agroecological principles
  • Pesticide reduction
  • Increased on-farm biodiversity
  • Stop to biodiversity loss resulting from agriculture
  • Increased animal welfare
  • Reduced food waste
  • Transition towards sustainable diets

Achieving these goals requires interdisciplinary research & innovation on farms and in the food industry, and strong relations among farmers, value chain actors and citizens.

TP Organic co-signed a letter with Civil Society Organisations urging Member States and the European Parliament to secure an independent pillar for global challenges guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Horizon Europe

The European Union’s next research and innovation programme will run from 2021 to 2027 and be worth €100 billion, according to proposals launched on 7 June by the European Commission.

The planned programme is structured around three pillars: open science, global challenges and industrial competitiveness, and open innovation. The first pillar includes funding for fundamental research and grants for research mobility and infrastructure. The second pillar groups research into five clusters: health; inclusive and secure society; digital and industry; climate, energy and mobility; and food and natural resources. The third pillar is designed to enhance Europe’s innovation output.

There is also money set aside to strengthen Europe’s research base as a whole, including a doubling of funds designed to help Member States make the most of their national research and innovation potential, and by taking measures to reform and enhance the European research and innovation system.

Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper
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