Horizon Europe co-design 2021-2024: TP Organics’ contribution to the European Commission’s public consultation

TP Organics submitted a response to the online survey “Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024” on future objectives for European research and innovation (R&I). In its response, TP Organics stressed the importance of supporting research focusing on the role that organic and agroecology play in transforming the European food and farming systems towards sustainability.

TP Organics welcomes the specific programme’s provisions that Horizon Europe should support research on:

  • “The use and delivery of ecosystem services in agriculture and forestry systems applying ecological approaches and testing nature-based solutions from farm to landscape levels for an environmentally friendly agriculture; support to organic farming;" and
  • "Agricultural and forestry systems from farm to landscape levels; the use and delivery of ecosystem services in primary production, e.g. through agroecology or through enhancing the role of forests in the prevention of floods and soil erosion”.

Organic’s contribution to reaching European research and innovation goals

Scaling up organic agriculture and delivering on its potential requires ambitious research and innovation (R&I) programmes. Cluster 6, “Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment”, should aim at building knowledge and developing innovative solutions that will speed up the transition to sustainable food and farming systems. Horizon Europe will merge Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness in one pillar. Safeguards should be put in place to prioritise sustainable development wherever this conflicts with economic growth.

TP Organics welcomes the planned Mission for Soil Health and Food. Better protection of our soils is urgently needed because they are the basis of food production. The mission should support innovation to help practitioners improve soil management. Research must consider the practical implementation of its findings.

Building partnerships to bridge the gap between citizens, R&I and policies

The planned European Partnership "Accelerating farming systems transition" will be a very important tool to support the upscaling of organic farming and agroecology. To be successful, it is crucial that the partnership builds on experiences of previous partnerships, in particular ERA-NET CORE Organic.

The partnership "Safe and Sustainable Food System" will be crucial to fix our food systems. The organic sector provides safe and healthy food, and hence should be fully integrated. TP Organics highlighted the need to involve citizens and civil society organisations into R&I agenda-setting. This would better align the R&I process and its outcomes with the needs and expectations of society. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda that must form the basis of Horizon Europe.

The EU R&I Days on 24-26 September will feature a policy conference and will be the main forum for collecting input and feedback on the second draft of the Strategic R&I Plan.

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