Sustainable food systems and supply chains have a crucial role to play in ensuring food security. Cereal production is key to this, as it provides the basis of human diets. Europe produces around 280 million tons of cereals per year, from which wheat represents 46%. One of the biggest challenge for the cereal industry in Europe is to connect the different sectors of the value chain in order to comply with the 2030 climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies set out in EU policy (e.g. European Green Deal, Farm to Fork Strategy). To achieve a circular and carbon neutral agricultural sector, investment is needed in solutions that connect industry stakeholders to close the loop of cereal production, and in this way guarantee and promote food security and the transition to sustainable agriculture.
The LIFE Innocereal EU project’s main objective is to facilitate connections between the links of the cereals value chain, by creating certification systems for low emission production, demonstrating its benefits for all the supply chain, and increasing the final product’s added value (bread, pasta, beer). The project team will create an ecosystem throughout the entire cereal production chain, to demonstrate high sustainability standards and competitiveness in all production stages of flour, malting and baking industries.
- Connected cereal supply chain allowing the implementation of innovative good practices.
- A quality and sustainability certification to improve competitiveness of sustainable cereal producers.
- Mitigate the carbon footprint of cereal production in Europe.
- Improve knowledge of varieties of hard and soft wheat and barley for better adaptation to climate change.
- Create knowledge at EU level to help promote supporting policies.
- A communication plan, including a manual of agricultural good practices.
- A reach plan (close-to-market) to demonstrate the replication potential at EU level.
Connection of the cereal supply chain with socioeconomic benefits:
- Sustainable certification and label “Innocereal EU".
- Promote at least 8 contracts between the different food industries.
- Reduce production costs by 30%.
- Increase cereal quality by 10%.
- Increase cereal production by 25% (500 kg/ha).
- Selection of at least 9 certified seed varieties.
- Creation of qualified jobs in rural areas (8 FTE).
- Organisation of at least 22 events, at least 3 meetings with policymakers, and dissemination of results to reach over 1 million people.
Improved environmental sustainability of cereal production:
- Improving soil health, due to increased soil carbon sink (0.8 t COS/ha/year), increased organic matter by 0.5-1%, and increased soil biodiversity (e.g. at least 20 nematode species present).
- Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, due to decreased CO2 emissions as a result of 25% less use of nitrogenated fertilisers (from 150 kg N/ha to 112.5 kg N/ha), 75% less use of phosphorous fertilisers (from 82 kg P/ha to 20 kg P/ha), 45% less use of fossil fuels, and a 50% decrease in herbicide use.