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Evolution of agrofood production systems

Objective

Specific Objectives:
1. To complete the prospective studies aiming at anticipating the commercial introduction of agricultural GMOs in the enlarged EU;
2. To analyse key factors for a viable co-existence of GM and non-GM agriculture in the EU;
3. To analyse the value adding process along the supply chain for organic food products and identify key factors for the development of the organic sector;
4. To analyse current and future developments in agricultural production systems, such as conventional agriculture, organic farming and integrated farming.

Anticipated milestones and schedule:
Report with pipeline of GMOs most probable to request authorisation for marketing in the EU within the next decade and of the main factors that influence potential commercialisation of GMOs in the EU (first quarter 2003) Interim follow up studies on the co-existence of GM and non-GM agriculture in the EU (end 2003) Characterisation of the price structure and market of organic products (Second quarter 2003) Mapping of the various farming systems existing in the EU, current and future (end 2003).
Planned Deliverables:
1.1 Prospective studies aiming at anticipating the commercial introduction of agricultural GMOs in the enlarged EU (Final report December 2003);
2.1 Analysis of key factors for a viable co-existence of GM and non-GM agriculture in the EU (Final report December 2003);
3.1 Analysis of the value adding process along the supply chain for organic food products and identify key factors for the development of the organic sector. (Final report April 2003);
4.1 Analysis of current and future developments in agricultural production systems, such as conventional agriculture, organic farming and integrated farming (Final report December 2003).

Output Indicators and Impact Input in the discussion on the lift of the moratorium on GMOs and the conditions for the cultivation of GM crops in the EU. Contribution to the Commission Action Plan on Organic Farming Potential input in the future development of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Summary of the Action:
In the context of the JRC mission of policy support and of prospective, this action will analyse developments in the area of agro-food production systems. Four main lines of work were identified for 2003, based on requests made by Commission services:
1. Anticipating the commercial introduction of GMOs in the enlarged EU Numerous "second generation" agricultural GMOs have been obtained by researchers, but have not reached marketing stage. They are characterised by more diversified applications and end-user quality traits. The study aims at anticipating which of these GMOs and derived products are likely to request authorisation in the EU (to be produced or imported) and to identify the challenges and opportunities they will create for agriculture in the enlarged EU. The study will also address the main factors influencing whether innovations reach the EU market;
2. Analysing the co-existence of GM- and non-GM agriculture In the Communication on "Life Sciences and Biotechnology - A strategy for Europe", the Commission has committed itself to take "initiatives to develop, in partnership with Member States, farmers and other private operators, research and pilot projects to clarify the need and possible options, for agronomic and other measures, to ensure the viability of conventional and organic farming and their sustainable co-existence with GM crops". The report on co-existence published by the JRC in May 2002 was welcomed as a first attempt to assess the consequences of the introduction and possible increase of GM crops in the EU, and to identify appropriate measures at the farm level to minimise the adventitious presence of GMOs below the thresholds laid down in Commission legislation. Follow-up studies will further investigate the key factors that would ensure a viable co-existence and the compliance with the legal provisions to be implemented on labelling and traceability of GMOs;
3. Analysis of the cost structure of organic products Since the 1980's, the development of organic agriculture has been fast, resulting in a major increase in the number of producers. Simultaneously, new structures have been established for processing and marketing organic products. This action will investigate the link between the organic price premia at consumer level and at the farm gate. The study will identify and analyse the underlying factors explaining differences in cost structure between conventional and organic products at the consumer level. The results should facilitate the forecasting of future demand and price premia for organic products;
4. Analysis of the development of farming systems in the EU-15 The agreement reached in December 1999 at the European Council in Berlin responds to the key Agenda 2000 proposals, giving concrete shape to a European model for agriculture and reaffirmed that the content of the reform will secure a multifunctional, sustainable and competitive agriculture throughout Europe, including in regions facing particular difficulties. The 2002 CAP Mid-Term review gives a clear picture on the orientation that the Commission will intend to give to agriculture through a set of legislative proposals to be submitted soon. This action will analyse current and future developments in agricultural production systems in the EU-15. It will cover well-defined production systems (like organic farming or conventional production) as well as emerging and more heterogeneous systems like integrated production or low input production systems. The study will have a prospective character, including the development of scenarios and potential policy implications. Rationale Now that CAP has attained most of the goals set out in Article 39 of the Treaty, agriculture is asked to answer new societal concerns and market requirements in relation to food quality and safety, environmental protection and animal welfare.

This adaptation process started about a decade ago and alternative production systems were developed to answer these new market requirements: organic farming, integrated agriculture, regional production, "short chain" production, etc. Biotechnology and the use of GMOs in the agro-food sector are important issues. When the process of authorisations resume in the future, GM and non GM- based agriculture will have to find ways to co-exist in the EU. Until now GMOs used in EU agriculture have been of the so-called first generation. A prospective view on what are the R&D pipelines for the EU in this sector is important.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research

Coordinator

Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Address
Edificio Expo, C/ Inca Garcilaso S/n
E-41092 Seville
Spain