Task Force on Fruit and Vegetable research presents policy recommendations regarding position of fruit and vegetable sector in EU’s R&I policy

16 February 2018

On 23 January 2018, Freshfel Europe (the European Fresh Produce Association) and A.R.E.F.L.H. (the European Assembly of fruit, vegetable and horticulture regions) organised in coordination with the two European university and research centre networks for fruit and vegetable related research, EUFRIN and EUVRIN, a conference on the research priorities for the fruit and vegetable sector for the current Horizon 2020 funding programme and its successor, Framework Programme 9 (FP9). As a result, the four organisations drafted a list of policy recommendations regarding the position of the fruit and vegetable sector in the EU’s Research and Innovation policy for policy makers to consider.

From the discussion during the conference, all the fruit and vegetable business representatives and researchers endorsed the multi-actor approach that is demanded in many Horizon 2020 calls. Involving different types of actors in a consortium not only ensures a more practical focus on the real problems on the ground, but also allows for a fruit and vegetable supply chain perspective. However, the trend towards broad, multi-product projects cannot highlight the sector’s specific problems: diversified products, perishability, different areas of production with specific challenges such as drought, frost and precipitation, and the sector’s added value in relation to health and sustainability. The sector laments that fruit and vegetables remain under-represented within Horizon 2020, and that this is not reflecting the size of the sector in the economy and its societal and health benefits.

To turn the spotlight on these specific problems and possible solutions, the Task Force drafted following policy recommendations regarding the position of the fruit and vegetable sector in the EU’s Research and Innovation policy.

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