A group of six research and innovation projects have joined together to help the sustainable economic development of agricultural feed- and food-systems. Currently, agri-food systems are dominated by a very small number of crops types, and high-input management practices. It is hoped that new ‘crop diversification’ strategies can help combat the risks the current situation poses. The six European Union funded Horizon2020 projects include: DIVERFARMING, DiverIMPACTS, REMIX, DIVERSify, LegVALUE and TRUE. Collectively they have become known as the ‘Crop Diversification Cluster’, or CDC. The CDC aim to act as a “rally point”, for the diverse array of stakeholders which span the supply chain, and who are deeply concerned about the sustainable economic development of the agri-feed- and -food sectors.
TRUE has contributed to the cluster by:
- sharing insight on the barriers and opportunities to increased legume production in Europe, including the outputs of our European Legume Innovative Network workshops;
- attending meetings in Brussels with EU officials to discuss and identify suitable routes for collaboration, outreach and impact;
- taking an active role in the cluster’s different working group, and a lead role with DIVERSify in communication within the cluster; and,
contributing as co-organisers on the organising committee of the first European Conference on Crop Diversification.
Project outputs are shared openly by founding members and aim demonstrate:
- innovative solutions, including new varieties, species mixtures, machinery breeding strategies;
- economic and environmental benefit from over 100 case studies;
- organisational approaches to promote new business models along value chains;
- development of new products with enhanced value for the food/feed or industrial sectors;
- new knowledge-services to help manage and monitor new diversified crop systems;
- assessment tools for diverse-crop performance;
- recommendations for policy-makers to help support more-diverse cropping systems.