Newsflash 4, 3 September 2014 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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Experts wanted for EIP-AGRI Focus Groups. 

Are you an expert on Ecological Focus Areas, Short Supply Chain management, or IPM practices on soil borne diseases?

Yes?  Click here to apply.

You still have a few days to send us your application to be part of one of the three new EIP-AGRI Focus Groups on: If you have experience with one of these issues and could help find practical solutions, then please apply! If you know other people who may be interested, then please forward this email to them.

Last call for applications to join EIP-AGRI Focus Groups.

Closing date for applications: Monday 8 September 2014 - MIDNIGHT (GMT+2).

Apply here.

What is an EIP-AGRI Focus Group?

An EIP-AGRI Focus Group brings together 20 experts with practical or research experience to work on a specific topic. They meet twice and work together before and after the meetings. The aim is to share knowledge, develop practical solutions that can be adapted elsewhere, identify opportunities and draw on experiences derived from existing, related projects. Focus Groups are expected to work for 12-18 months and will meet face-to-face twice a year. 

For more information please see the Focus Group charter.

Focus Group: Optimising the profitability of crop production through Ecological Focus Areas

First meeting 10-11 December 2014, Munich

The maintenance and establishment of Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) on arable land is an important element in the Greening of the Common Agricultural Policy. It is well acknowledged that the EFAs have important environmental benefits as they enhance biodiversity, reduce diffuse pollution and improve soil quality and they deliver several ecosystem services such as pollination, biological pest control… 

This Focus Group explores how Ecological Focus Areas may contribute to the profitability of crop production on arable land, by identifying existing successful practices, promising research results and innovative ideas requiring further work, for instance by Operational Groups. The focus lies particularly on the EFAs in the category of landscape features and buffer strips.

Question: How can EFAs, more specifically landscape features and buffer strips and their management, contribute to the profitability of crop production?

Focus Group: Innovative Short Food Supply Chain management

First meeting: 10 - 11 December 2014 in Prague

Development of (the many forms of) short food supply chains is one of the approaches of the Common Agricultural Policy to improve competitiveness. There are many different types of alternative food supply chains, ranging from direct selling on the farm, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, collective direct selling etc. A lot of good examples already exist but they are generally small-scale and limited in impact. Common characteristics are to establish a more direct relationship between farmers and consumers and to enable farmers to obtain a higher share of the value of the final sales price by reducing the number of middlemen and stages of the process. Scaling up short food supply chain management in the European Union is hampered by various factors. In this context, ‘scaling up short food supply chain management’ means increasing the number of producers involved and the total volumes traded through these chains.

The objective of the Focus Group is to identify innovative solutions to stimulate the scaling up of short food supply chain management to improve farmers’ income. 

Question: How to stimulate growth of short food supply chains in Europe, both in terms of 
numbers of producers involved and volumes traded, to increase farm income?

Focus Group: IPM practices for soil-borne diseases suppression in vegetables and arable crops 

First meeting 2-3 December 2014 - Alicante

Soil-borne diseases are major yield-limiting factors and difficult to control. However, applied knowledge on how to use suppression techniques seems to be limited. This Focus Group will bring together current knowledge of innovative techniques about soil-borne disease (fungi and nematodes) suppression and aims at practical ways to implement related research results while looking at cross-fertilisation of such methods between different vegetables and arable crops and farming systems (open field – greenhouses). 

Question: How to suppress soil-borne diseases (fungi and nematodes) in vegetables and arable crops and how to enhance cross-fertilisation between different crops and agricultural systems?
The EIP-AGRI Service Point is based in Brussels. You can reach us from Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 17:00. By phone +32 2 543 73 48 or email

Further information can be found on the EIP AGRI homepage

Please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you!
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