On 8 June 2023, the GO-GRASS project organised a Green Week Partner Event entitled “Fostering grassland opportunities, circular business models and skills for resilient rural communities”, which gathered 50 participants interested in innovations in the agri-food sectors in Europe (farmer organisations, SMEs, policy makers, researchers, NGOs and civil society organisations).
This webinar offered participants insightful discussions on policies focusing on the bioeconomy, carbon farming and biodiversity, through key learnings shared by the EIP Agri, farmer organisations, environmental NGOs and the Biorefinery Glas project.
Participants discovered best practices that are fostering transfer of knowledge, the development of innovative technologies and new skills in rural communities, contributing to unlock the potential of grassland and accelerate the circular bioeconomy in Europe. For example, biorefineries have shown great promises for valorising grasslands and producing a wide range of products and biomaterials.
Among the takeaways, experts highlighted the importance of connecting farmers, practicioners and researchers to test the technologies and develop skills (entrepreneurship, agronomy, farming, energineering and technology), while revitilising advisory services and farmer cooperatives.
Experts proposed to add more value to grassland through the CAP, and make the voluntary eco-schemes more competitive for farmers. Grasslands can be used for nature restauration purposes and for the bioeconomy, but it remains difficult to optimise all the needs given the limited land and biomass.
The event will enrich the GO-GRASS policy recommendations presented in the draft White Paper for grassland opportunities. This joint event was organised in cooperation with several EU projects and we will continue the cooperation in the preparation of the final version of the White Paper, which will be published in January 2024.
The slides presented by the speakers are available below, and the webinar agenda is available here (pdf):
- Inge Van Oost (European Commission, DG Agri): European co-creating innovation and
knowledge sharing for practice (pdf)
- Philipp Grundmann (ATB – Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy): White Paper for Grassland Opportunities – Findings and Policy Recommendations (pdf)
- Karen Thorsted Hamann (IFAU): Breakout session on market and business development (pdf)
- Uffe Jørgensen (Aarhus University): Breakout session on technologies and skills (pdf)
To watch the event and dig deeper into the topic, you can find the full recording below: