Author: Carla Lostrangio (AEIDL)
The MOVING Horizon 2020 project (2020-2024) provided a contribution to the EU public consultation on “Transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable and digital agri-food ecosystem”- opened from 24 July to 19 September 2023. The consultation aimed at collecting feedback and opinions on sustainable competitiveness, as well as aspects of the regulatory environment, innovation, investment, infrastructure, the social and internal market dimension needed for the agri-food transition.
The project’s contribution was developed together with the Horizon Europe BEATLES project and on MOVING’s results, in particular our work on Vulnerability and Resilience, Land Use Systems’ Vulnerability and Adaptive Mechanisms, and Upgrading Strategies for Mountain Value Chains.
In our contribution, we underscored climate disruption, lack of knowledge in sustainable management practices, price volatility and low-profit margins as key challenges faced by the agri-food ecosystem as a whole. When it comes to mountain agri-food systems, our findings suggest that extreme weather events, particularly droughts and heavy rain, demographic variability, changes in incentives and subsidies, and energy prices and inflation represent key main challenges that local actors have to face.
Key elements to be considered to support sustainable competitiveness and resilience of the agri-food ecosystem include socio-cultural measures (e.g. the adoption of a food system approach, better understanding of consumer needs), regulative and financing measures (e.g. incentives and support by governments and regulating agencies, taxation methods to discourage unsustainable practices), policy measures (e.g. to ensure cross-policy coherence, risk management strategies) and further synergies and cooperation (e.g. knowledge sharing).
During the past three years, MOVING has identified 160 adaptative mechanisms to increase the resilience of mountain agri-food value chains to external shocks. These mechanisms have the potential to support agri-food transition across several agri-food value chains. Some instances are the promotion of advanced soil practices, water capacity systems and management measures; enhancement of capacity building on sustainable management and traditional practices; stronger support to circular economic models; and the alignment of digital transition with green transition.
Transition cannot happen without upskilling, reskilling and attracting human capital, with the latter one especially true for remote rural areas. This is part of MOVING’s work on Upgrading Strategies for mountain value chains, which put a special emphasis on reducing vulnerability and fostering resilient solutions for the agri-food systems in mountains.
In 2024, the MOVING project will present its Policy Roadmap and Policy Recommendations for stronger and more resilient mountain value chains. Subscribe to our newsletter to remain updated!