Naturland Association for Organic Agriculture

Naturland

EU-Project BIOfruitNET

20181113 104709 350

The European Union is the world's leading region in organic fruit production with rapid growth. Nevertheless, organic fruit imports to the EU are also increasing. That is partly fruit that cannot be grown in the EU, or is seasonally unavailable. However, there are also organic fruit imports because the demand cannot be met in the EU or the imported fruit is cheaper.

European organic fruit producers have to face this challenge in order to remain successful in an increasingly competitive market. In addition, organic fruit growing is a very demanding farming activity. The biggest challenges in organic fruit growing are disease and pest pressure, fertilisation, lack of information about suitable varieties and a general lack of access to existing knowledge. As organic fruit growers cannot rely on synthetic inputs, many of them have developed competitive strategies to improve plant health at local level. Moreover, there is considerable research on improving organic fruit growing systems. The problem, however, is that this knowledge is not easily accessible to farmers all over Europe and remains either locally known or only available in the scientific sphere.
Over the decades, organic fruit growers have gained a lot of experience, but this local knowledge is often only very locally available and certainly not accessible to all European producers. Also, research results are not widely disseminated in practice. The sector needs a strong organic fruit network that bridges this gap and makes local solutions available to other fruit producers. This is where BIOFruitNET comes in:

1) Collect and synthesize existing knowledge ready for practice throughout Europe
2) Create a stable European innovation network
3) Identify and strengthen established networks
4) Widely distribute the collected best practices in an easy-to-understand format and disseminate the information through high impact channels.
Naturland initiated the project and brought together the consortium, associating 16 NGOs, research institutes and universities from 13 EU countries. For example: Instytut Ogrodnictwa (IO), Poland; Groupe de recherche en agriculture biologique (GRAB), France; Centro di sperimentazione Laimburg, Italy; IFOAM EU, Sweden; Valor ecologico caae (ECOVALIA), Spain; Fördergemeinschaft ökologischer Obstbau e.V. (FOKO), Germany.

Naturland is in charge of the project management.

Duration: 01.11.2019 to 31.10.2022
Coordination Naturland: Marco Schlüter,

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 this project has received funding from the European Union research and innovation program “horizon 2020” under grant agreement No 822850