June 2015 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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Dear *|MMERGE11|* <<Last Name>>

In July 2014 the EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Protein Crops published a report covering the following questions on how to make protein crops more profitable in the EU.
  • What does the feed sector need in terms of protein?
  • Why is EU farming not able to deliver?
  • Why is EU farming in protein crops not competitive?
  • How can this be remedied?

During two meetings, the Focus Group analysed the demand for protein crops in Europe, assessed the potential of relevant crops and forage which are rich in protein, looked into the value of protein crops in the crop rotation and made suggestions for ways to increase productivity and protein content of different protein crops.
Chris de Visser, coordinating expert of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group says: “The 20 members of the Focus Group concluded that sharing knowledge on the use of varieties and on best practices, even worst practices, is a key to success. Research can support increasing yield and competitiveness. The whole value chain needs to work together on this: farmers, feed industry, food industry, breeding industry, NGOs and researchers.
Read the EIP-AGRI Focus Group final report

The workshop: Different perspectives, main research needs and priority actions  

As a result of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group, the European Commission gathered European representatives at the EIP-AGRI Workshop “How to make protein crops profitable in the EU?” in Budapest, Hungary in November 2014. 56 experts, including farmers and representatives from breeding, came together to share their findings.

The meeting revealed some local and regional initiatives working to close the financial yield gap and to develop markets. On soybean, programmes like Danube Soya and the initiative of growing soybean in The Netherlands and Belgium were presented and they show great promise. The market for faba beans in the UK increased both for the human food sector as well as for feed. Also competitive yields were produced. In France, the SOS Protein initiative is actively looking for local protein production and consumption and supply to markets, together with farmers and the industry. Both have enlarged their scope of alternatives to fodder and co-products from the biofuel industry.  

The EIP-AGRI workshop report includes different perspectives from farmers, feed industry and food industry, ideas for innovative projects and research, and priority actions for yield gaps and building a market.

All information is available on the EIP-AGRI workshop webpage

The brochure: Why Europe needs a value chain

The EIP-AGRI brochure 'Competitive protein crops' highlights the current challenges in protein crops such as faba bean, peas, alfalfa, lentils and soybean.

The EIP-AGRI brochure includes examples of cooperation between the key players that may offer you some inspiration: developing quality soybean in the Danube region, developing collective knowledge on protein crops in France, cooperation and innovation for protein crops in Germany, strategic cooperation for soybean production in north-west Europe.

Download the brochure


Feel free to distribute further 

We would be delighted if these documents provided you with new ideas and information. Please feel free to disseminate these documents to others working in this field. For this purpose we have written a press article, which you are free to copy-paste and use to inform members, readers,...


Direct funding to explore innovative ideas

With the Member States’ and regions’ new Rural Development Programmes approved, farmers will have the opportunity to receive direct support to develop innovative projects through Operational Groups. These Operational Groups could be an important instrument to speed up the learning curve, on cropping systems or variety choice for example. Operational Groups offer the possibility for organisations across the value chain to work together. At the same time the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, including the Horizon 2020 thematic network calls and SME programme offers many possibilities to get your project started. 

Read more in these EIP-AGRI brochures:

Interesting protein crops events?

If you have a protein crops event coming up, we are happy to promote your event in the EU calender at the EIP-AGRI website. If you would like us to speak at your event, please contact us to discuss the possibilities.   

Staying up to date

More information on the EIP-AGRI? The monthly EIP-AGRI newsletter will keep you up to date on the latest events, publications, networking and funding opportunities regarding innovation in agriculture and forestry. Please click here to subscribe.
Kind regards

Remco Schreuder
Task Manager EIP-AGRI Focus Group 'Protein Crops'


The European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' (EIP-AGRI) is one of five EIPs which have been launched by the European Commission in a bid to promote rapid modernisation of the sectors concerned, by stepping up innovation efforts. The EIP-AGRI aims to foster innovation in the agricultural and forestry sectors by bringing research and practice closer together – in research and innovation projects as well as via the EIP-AGRI Network.

EIPs aim to streamline, simplify and better coordinate existing instruments and initiatives and complement them with actions where necessary. Two specific funding sources are particularly important for the EIP-AGRI: the EU Research and Innovation framework, Horizon 2020, as well as the EU Rural Development policy.

More information on 

EIP-AGRI Focus Groups

An EIP-AGRI Focus Group is one of the building blocks that aim to complement the construction of the EIP-AGRI Network, which is funded under the EU Rural Development policy. Working on a narrowly defined issue, EIP-AGRI Focus Groups temporarily bring together 20 experts (such as farmers, advisers, researchers, up- and downstream businesses and NGOs) to map and develop solutions within their field.

More information on EIP-AGRI Focus Groups

EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Protein Crops

The EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Protein Crops brought together 20 experts (scientists, breeders, farmers, advisers) in 2013-2014 to make recommendations on transferable innovative solutions. The group shared knowledge and experiences and carried out two field visits. In fact, it provided some of the experts with the opportunity to visit a large-scale compound feed factory for the first time. Following the EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Protein Crops, several of the experts are now preparing new projects based on their experience and findings. 

Visit the EIP-AGRI Focus Group webpage here


Would you like to join the EIP-AGRI Network? You can register to the EIP-AGRI website. As a member of the EIP-AGRI Network you can take advantage of its resources to develop your ideas for innovation:
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