Promoting diverse crops and livestock with a variety of farming systems for diverse diets, human health and resilient production, is a joint responsibility of policy makers and actors in many areas: agriculture, health, education, environmental and R&I services.

Experts from three Technology Platforms developed the following R&I recommendations to address climate change, biodiversity loss, consumer competence and malnutrition:

  • An environmental performance toolbox to adapt to climate change and to maintain, or even to improve, crop yield and quality: Catalogue and improve crop and livestock performance by testing the effects of diverse combinations of livestock and crops with diverse and mixed cropping systems…
  • Smartly reducing pesticides: Investigate pest and disease resistance in plant genetic resources; Improve and broaden farm management practices; Develop and optimise new digital monitoring technologies; Identify and develop environmentally friendly pesticides.
  • Improving consumer knowledge and choice regarding healthy and sustainable diets: Understand consumer choice associated to healthy, diverse and sustainable diets; Install communication with citizens and consumers across Member States; Advance traceability and transparency regrading sustainability and health impact of food products throughout the value chain.
  • Diversified farming systems for diverse diets: Exploring and improving alternative protein sources; Improving livestock breeding and management; Developing new varieties of existing crops, reintroducing and domesticating niche and heirloom crops, and developing and introducing new and underutilised crops; Developing and scaling up new crop rotations and new intercropping techniques.

Among the 19 experts participating in the joint workshop of the Plants for the Future ETP, Food for Life ETP and Organics Technology Platform to discuss the challenges and develop these recommendations, were Karin Metzlaff (EPSO) and Roy Neilson (Hutton / UK).

Click here to read: Full Policy Brief by ‘Plants for the Future’ ETP, ‘Food for Life’ ETP and TP ‘Organics’, 02.07.2020


  • Karin Metzlaff, EPSO, BE
  • Amrit Nanda, Plant ETP, BE