Innovation: A buzzword or crucial tool for increasing sustainability in the food chain?
#EUFarm2Fork has huge expectations from the food chain but is it delivering on its promises to adequately support the food chain?
There is a lot of talk about innovation being the key to the sustainable transition delivered by Farm2Fork strategy. Is it just a buzzword or are there real mechanism and legislative vehicles to concretely support innovation in the food chain?
Is the food chain innovative enough? Is it ready for the change? What innovation is taking place already in the food chain and what else has to be done in order for innovation to reach the market?
EU40, in collaboration with the Agri Food Chain Coalition, is organising a virtual discussion in the style of its successful ongoing #EU40Talks sessions.
We will bring together innovation specialists, experts of the agrifood industry, as well as European Commission representatives and Members of the European Parliament.
– Pekka Pesonen, representing AFCC
– Alexander Bernhuber, MEP (EPP)
– Nathalie Sauze-Vandevyver, Director, DG AGRI – Quality, Research and Innovation, Outreach
– Martijn Buijsse, Founder of farmUP
– Alessandro Da Rold, Moderator & Managing Director EU40
Today marks one year to the day since the Farm to Fork strategy was presented in Brussels by the European Commission. However, we cannot celebrate its anniversary, as the strategy still raises too many questions in the European farming and agri-food community. A year of intense debate has only increased the number of our concerns.
Read the press release here
European Commission Study of New Genomic Techniques
EU Animal Breeders and researchers represented by EFFAB and FABRE-TP welcome the launch of the European Commission Study on the status of new genomic techniques.
The publication of the study is an important day for researchers, breeders and farmers and everyone involved in the Animal Breeding and Reproduction sector with impacts on the future of research, innovation and sustainability of the livestock and aquaculture sector in Europe.
Read the press release here
Read the study here
EFFAB & FABRE-TP Webinar Series “Breeders talk Green”
EFFAB and FABRE-TP are pleased to present the webinar series Breeders talk Green aimed at engaging members, stakeholders, EU officials and other active actors in the Animal Breeding and Reproduction sector to discuss sustainability and other relevant topics in the context of the EU Green Deal, including Research and Innovation (R&I).
Different webinars will be organised in the upcoming months and throughout the rest of 2021. We look forward to very fruitful exchanges and discussions to shape the future of the EU Animal Breeding and Reproduction sector.
Upcoming Webinars (additional information on following sessions will be shared in the upcoming weeks)
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage discussion with top level experts in the sector and have your say!
Registen is currently closed.
Discover more on our #BreederstalkGreen dedicated page.
The EFFAB Team is Growing Bigger
We are very happy to welcome our new Communication and Office Assistant, Bárbara Barbosa.
Bárbara is originally from Portugal and moved to Brussels after studying Political Science at the Universidade do Minho in Braga, Portugal. Previously to joining EFFAB, Bárbara gathered experience in the agricultural sector working as an intern in the policy unit as well as in the field of communication and other operations in the guise of trainee.
We would like to give Bárbara a warm welcome once again to the EFFAB team!
Code EFABAR 2020 Update
During the annual general meeting of EFFAB on 28 May 2020, the new version of the Code of Good Practice for farm animal breeding organisations, the Code-EFABAR 2020, has been launched.
Code EFABAR is a voluntary initiative of best practices to be used by EFFAB members that commit to defined criteria of responsible breeding of livestock species. In 2020, the Code’s six core values were updated to align with relevant UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), incorporating new elements that optimise food safety and public health, resource efficiency, environmental impact and animal health and welfare.
To have more information, you may read the press release here, and check Code EFABAR's brochure here. The new version of Code EFABAR is available on the website.
Mark Fife is a New Representative at EFFAB SC
We are happy to inform you that, at the EFFAB Annual General Meeting 2020, Mark Fife (Aviagen) has been selected as the representative of the poultry sector at the EFFAB Steering Committee, by replacing John Vincent (Cobb).
Dr. Mark Fife is Head of Biotechnology at Aviagen. He is a complex-disease geneticist with extensive experience in complex trait analysis, candidate gene mapping and avian immunogenetics. He has produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in this area. His research work has culminated in the identification and characterisation of several important genes for immune traits in chickens. Mark has extensive expertise in coordinating multidisciplinary and multi-site projects.
We would like to thank John Vincent for his valuable contribution and work as the representative of the poultry sector, and give a warm welcome to Mark Fife once again to the EFFAB Steering Committee!
Annual General Meeting EFFAB & FABRE 2020 - Webinar
The Annual General Meeting of EFFAB & FABRE 2020 will be held as an online event through GoToWebinar on Thursday the 28th of May. The morning will start off with 2 keynote speeches on the EU food production in light of the Covid19 crisis (COPA COGECA & AbacusBio International). The morning program will continue with presentations from the EU Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy (DG SANTE); Horizon EU program (DG RTD), a scientific vision of the EU livestock sector (ATF) and will be closed by the Meat the Facts Campaign (The European Livestock Voice). The morning session will finish around 12:45 and we will continue with the afternoon program (for members only) at 14:00. During the break we encourage you to think about some relevant questions and statements that could be applicable for discussion in the afternoon session. In the afternoon session we will get to the official part of the meeting; starting with the FABRE TP AGM and followed by the EFFAB AGM, where the AGM minutes (2019), annual reports & financial reports (2019) and the budget for 2020 will be discussed. We hope to make this online meeting a great success and thank you beforehand for your participation!
9:30-10:00 Virtual welcome with (home) coffee
10:00 Opening session
10:05 Keynote presentations on EU food production and Covid19 impacts
11:00 European policy on livestock and research
12:00 The role of the European Livestock sector
12:45 Lunch break
14:00 FABRE TP Annual General Meeting
15:15 EFFAB Annual General Meeting
More information regarding general practicalities on how to interact & follow the online meeting as attendee (rules for attendees) will be disseminated later on. We will also organise a practice session for all participants two days before the real meeting for those who want to practice joining a GoToWebinar meeting, details will be provided to your e-mail.
Agri-Food Chain Coalition Event and Vision Paper
The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) is a joint initiative representing 12 leading associations across the agri-food system. Agri-food chain coalition gathered on 17 February 2020 with MEPs to discuss potential of EU agri-food systems. EFFAB was a part of the event to present the priorities for the EU institutions in the upcoming years to fight against climate change through science based policy.
AFCC recently published a vision paper reflecting the potential of agriculture and the food industry. The paper could be read here.
Press Release on Fitter Livestock Farming at the 9th ATF Seminar
Linking information about the health and management of livestock to environmental data is a key component in making livestock enterprises more sustainable in the battle with climate change, so said the delegates at the ATF workshop on 6 November 2019 in Brussels. The afternoon session of the 9th ATF seminar focused on “What R&I can deliver to support climate mitigation and adaptation in livestock farming”. The well-attended workshop was organized by the ATF and the Fitter Livestock Farming Common Dissemination Booster (CDB) Cluster. Read the press release here.
The Fitter Livestock Farming Project is a cluster of six research projects (GenTORE, FEED-A-GENE, GplusE, IMAGE, SAPHIR & SmartCow) funded by the European Commission and coordinated under the CDB, aiming to bring innovation to food safety and sustainable agriculture.
#MeattheFacts: European livestock voice sets to balance the debate around livestock production
The livestock sector is today at the epicenter of public debates in Europe and beyond. These debates are now mainly dominated by interest groups who spread myths and radical views about livestock farming. Ever increasing on social media and in the press, these myths and opinions end up portraying a picture that is in stark contrast with the reality experienced and lived every day by thousands of European farmers and professionals on the ground. These debates have strong impacts on the views of European consumers on the role of animal products in their lifestyle choices and they push the livestock sector into an extremely defensive corner of society. This negatively affects the EU livestock farming model and policy framework, increasing the challenges faced by our farming communities to ensure their economic viability, generational renewal and their capacity to adapt to societal and environmental demands. Read the full press-release.
More members adopting Code-EFABAR 2017
Congratulations to Aviagen, Aviagen Turkeys, Cobb Europe, Axiom and Nucleus for adopting Code-EFABAR 2017!
Code-EFABAR is a voluntary code of good practice in support of responsible farm animal breeding. Responsible farm animal breeding is important for a sustainable and healthy food supply chain. By following Code-EFABAR, breeding organisations are demonstrating that they are committed to supporting a sustainable future. For more information about Code-EFABAR check out the official website www.responsiblebreeding.eu.
EFFAB and FABRE TP Annual General Meeting in Dublin
EFFAB and FABRE TP members had a very efficient and interactive AGM in Dublin at the lovely UCD Campus on 15-16 May 2019. The topics discussed were mainly focused on Horizon Europe, FABRE TP session at EAAP 2019 conference in Ghent, genome editing and the ruling of ECJ. The plenary session and working group discussion focused on EFFAB and FABRE TP activities and challenges regarding EU projects, Horizon Europe, communication with society and Genome Editing. EU projects SAPHIR and FISHBOOST, two successful European projects that ended by the beginning of 2019, presented their results relevant to the animal breeding and reproduction industry. During the lunch and coffee breaks, IMAGE project was also present demonstrating their simulation tool for breeding programs: MoBPS – Modular Breeding Program Simulation. To follow-up on European projects, the highlights of Horizon Europe were explained by Florence Macherez from the Animal Task Force (ATF). The first day ended with a closing presentation from David McHugh (UCD), who explained targeted Genome Editing and its opportunities for infectious diseases in livestock.
Day two started with presentations from the EFFAB and FABRE TP Irish members. MOWI from the Irish aqua sector made a presentation about aquaculture breeding, focusing on the importance of disease resistance traits in the aqua sector and explained that heritability problems could be solved permanently through breeding. ICBF presented cattle breeding in Ireland and the excellent collaborations between the industry and research. External speaker Patrick Caruana from DG SANTE unit located in Grange (IE) explained their activities regarding health and food audits and policies for animal welfare, followed by an intensive discussion with the members. To close the plenary session of the second day, the IMAGE project and its highlights were further explained.
The meetings were quite successful and there was lots of discussion. Thank you to all that have participated in the meeting, and a special thanks to MOWI, ICBF, NCBC, UCD, TEAGASC and AIT for their contribution, UCD for hosting the meetings and our main external sponsor IdentiGen!
Next year the EFFAB and FABRE TP AGM will be hosted by Universidade de Evora and INIAV, in Portugal.
EFFAB TEAM SPIRIT IS RISING
On 11.12.2018, the EFFAB staff gathered for a half-day of team-building activities. The first activity was a workout provided by Tom Budding - owner of Fitcamp Renkum. Here, collective efforts in so-called buddy-workouts, were needed to complete a number of exercises. Afterwards, the EFFAB team saved the world playing a cooperative board game where the team needed to think of strategies to battle four infectious diseases. All in all a very successful day where our social relations were enhanced, and I am confident to say “EFFAB team spirit is rising”.
Tessa Brinker – office manager/project assistant EFFAB
EU AI VETS Conference 2020 - Postponed to 2021
The 31st European Congress of AI VETS forecasted for the 21st and 22nd of October 2020 in Futuroscope Convention Center, near Poitiers in France, is postponed to next year in the same venue and same period (the exact dates will be confirmed later).
The current situation in Europe regarding the spread of Covid 19 has pushed for this decision as the health of everyone involved is the absolute priority.
Nonetheless, both RepVets and QualiVets groups will meet digitally to continue the discussion and foster the spirit of the group.
For more information, please visit the AI VETS website.
FOOD 2030 Event
15-16 October 2020 - Online Event
FOOD 2030 will host its next event on 16 October 2020 (World Food Day), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the German EU presidency. The title of the event is “FOOD 2030 – Transforming food systems through Research & Innovation”. This online event will take place between 12:15 and 14:30 (Central European Summer Time or Brussels time). It will bring together researchers, innovators, policy makers, actors, stakeholders and civil society for a participatory discussion on the transition to sustainable food systems and, in particular, on the key role of research and innovation therein. For more details, please check here.
This event is planned after the first Farm to Fork Conference – Building sustainable food systems together, which will be organised by the European Commission on 15-16 October 2020 (noon), and to which it is a partner-event. More details on this Farm-to-Fork Conference will follow on this link.
EU AI VETS Conference
21-23 October 2020 at Futuroscope Convention Center, France
The 31st European congress of AI VETS will take place at the Futuroscope Convention Center, near Poitiers in France. This annual conference is an opportunity for meetings and exchanges for those involved in animal insemination. There are several topics on the agenda including the animal health law, the regulation of international trade of germinal products, environmental impacts of AI and semen production, management of young animals and new approaches to fertility prediction.
For more information, please visit the AI VETS website.
Aquaculture Europe Events
12-15 April 2021 in Cork, Ireland and 5-8 October 2021 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
European Aquaculture Society (EAS) has decided to organize 2 events in 2021. The Aquaculture Europe 2020 (AE2020) will take place between 12-15 April 2021, and AE2021 will be held on 5-8 October 2021 in Funchal, Portugal. The programme for each event will be available online soon. New abstracts for both AE2020 Cork and AE2021 Madeira can be submitted online.
For more information, please visit the website.
Star Gazing into the Galaxy of Animal Genetics and Genomics
19-20 October 2020 in Ames, Iowa, USA
This conference will explore and discuss the challenges and opportunities that the future provides in animal genetics and genomics. In particular the conference will explore new technologies and the data they offer, their impacts for animal improvement and animal source foods in the developed and developing world and the role scientists play in public acceptance. Talks will be followed by meaningful discussion and audience participation. We encourage students, academics, and industry personnel to attend.
For more information visit their website.
The 6th International Conference of Quantitative Genetics
13 - 18 June 2021 in Brisbane, Australia
The 6th International Conference of Quantitative Genetics (ICQG6) will bring together researchers in agriculture, human health, natural species and evolutionary genetics from across the world united in their interest in understanding and translating the contribution of genetic variation of quantitative traits. They will present and discuss state-of-the-art results, theoretical developments and new methodologies with application across a broad range of both species and traits. The rapid technological advances of the last decade have meant that it is now possible to conduct quantitative genetic analyses on an unprecedented scale and to generate data that can address old, but previously unanswerable questions. More today than ever before, quantitative genetics approaches are relevant across species whether in natural populations, model species, crops, livestock or humans. ICQG6 provides an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas in methods across their applications.
For more information visit the ICQG6 website.
International Congress on Animal Reproduction
27 June - 1 July 2021 in Bologna, Italy
The 19th International Congress on Animal Reproduction will be held in Bologna, Italy in 2021. The congress focuses on animal reproduction, including physiology, pathology and reproductive technologies. More information can be found on the ICAR website.
World's Poultry Congress 2021
8-12 August 2021 in Paris, France
The poultry sector has major assets to meet the expectation of the world population, provided that it can anticipate changes needed for sustainable production systems. The WPC2021 should bring a major contribution to these challenges for the benefit of the world population. The program features object-oriented sessions integrating various approaches to address a complex challenge, and specialized sessions corresponding with the scope of WPSA working groups. In addition, 11 plenary talks will address major issues for the poultry sector as a whole.
More information can be found on the World's Poultry Congress website.
12th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP)
3 - 8 July 2022 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
WCGALP is the conference to share knowledge and to interact on innovations in the area of genetics applied to livestock production. The congress attracts around 1400 delegates from around the world. With many Dutch animal breeders present at previous conferences, Roel Veerkamp and Yvette de Haas, with support of representatives of the Breed4Food partners, PCO Congress by Design, Rotterdam Partners and Wageningen Academic Publishers, put together an offer to organise the conference in 2022 in de Doelen in Rotterdam. Check the updates on the website.