BEATLES, A PROJECT TO BOOST SUSTAINABLE, PRODUCTIVE AND CLIMATE-SMART AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS
- SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS IS ONE OF the TWO Spanish PARTNERS OF BEATLES, a project FINANCED WITH ALMOST €4 MILLION under THE HORIZON EUROPE PROGRAMME
- BEATLES will IMPROVE the CURRENT agri-food systems and accelerate the systemic and systematic behavioural shift to climate-smart agriculture and NEW farming technologies
Madrid, July 21, 2022 – SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS is one of the two Spanish partners involved in the execution of BEATLES, a 48-month initiative under the European Union research and innovation programme Horizon Europe. The overall objective of this project is to propose innovative, systemic solutions, with regard to business strategies, as well as policy recommendations and tools, to encourage long-term and large-scale transitions to sustainable, productive, and climate-smart agri-food systems.
On the one hand, this objective will be achieved by providing an integrated inventory of the wide range of decision-making factors affecting the behavioural shifts of the farmers. On the other, the project will identify lock-ins and levers for systemic changes in the entire agri-food systems.
Climate-smart agriculture and new farming technologies will be tested in five Use Case Pilots around Europe: Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Spain. There, several behavioural and experimental tests will be conducted with the aim of extracting relevant findings that will contribute to developing effective business modelling, farm advice and policy design and implementation.
Moreover, BEATLES will contribute to long-term benefits across vital impact areas such as increasing productivity and sustainability, enhancing resilience, and adaptive capacity, and improving climate change mitigation.
The main responsibility of SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS in this project is to bring together key agri-food stakeholders from the European Union under a multifactor network of interest and manage the exploitation, innovation, and intellectual property strategies.
“It is a great opportunity to keep growing in the bio industry sector” states Jesús Serrano, Deputy General Manager of SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS. “We already have experience in several projects such as agroBRIDGES that seeks to empower farmers and engage with consumers by reinforcing the benefits of short food supply chain business models or BIOSWITCH which supports and helps brand owners to switch from fossil-based to bio-based approaches.”
Actual global food system challenges
The global food system is currently facing several interlinked challenges in terms of sustainability, social impact, and economic viability. The European Commission has established a set of policy initiatives under the European Green Deal, namely the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, Zero Pollution, Climate Action, and the Common Agricultural Policy for achieving a just transition towards sustainable food systems.
Despite these efforts, the adoption of sustainable practices remains low. A third of all food produced globally is wasted in production, post-harvest, processing, retailing, or consumer handling amounting to about 1.3 billion tons per year.
Hence, behavioural shifts are needed to foster the adoption of climate-smart farming and new farming technologies. The new policy framework, primarily the European Green Deal and the ongoing Common Agricultural Policy reforms beyond 2020, present an opportunity to redesign the configuration of the European Union agri-food systems, through the establishment of effective policy tools, based on non-financial behavioural incentives, including nudges, regulations, and strategies, to achieve shifts to sustainable food systems.