The agro-food sector shows a common problem in all its sub-sectors: waste management. The agro-food sector mainly generates solid and liquid wastes. There are more and more strict European regulations which control these emissions and which oblige the firms, generally SMEs, either to realise relevant investments, "tube finish" for the final treatment of these wastes or to incorporate clean technologies in their processes. Thus, this sector is in an adequate moment for knowing, analysing, developing or incorporating new technologies to minimise its' wastes production. Thousands of agro-food SMEs have to face some specific problems such as: lack of information concerning regulations and new technologies, the need of personnel trained specialised on clean technologies and minimisation of the environmental impact, inexperience in collaborating with technological centres or universities and unawareness of the European national and regional aids supporting R&D and technology transfer.
The present Accompanying Measure aims at sensitising the sector on environmental management by promoting the incorporation of clean technologies in order to increase SMEs competitiveness. The AM will analyse and validate the environmental needs and trends in the sector. It will identify the European clean technologies offer and those technologies most suitable to the firms' needs, which will be disseminated among the firms of participating countries. A workshop will be organised with companies and suppliers of technologies in order to promote international co-operation. The participation in Community RTD programmes will be encouraged and facilitated.