SLU represents Sweden in the Animal Task Force (ATF), who recently published a policy brief on synergies between livestock and crop sectors. Dirk Jan de Koning, SLU’s representative in the ATF, sees opportunities for SLU to be successful in this area.
The Animal Task Force (ATF) is a European Public-Private Partnership of research organizations and farmer and industry organizations, working together for a sustainable and competitive European livestock production sector. ATF has an office in Brussels from where it engages with policy makers and stakeholders and provides input into Research programs like the coming Horizon Europe.
Sweden is represented in the ATF through SLU, with Professor Dirk Jan de Koning as representative. This allows SLU to contribute to the policy briefs and vision papers of ATF and get early indicators of developing trends and initiatives in the EC. Last week, the ATF, together with the Plant European Technology Platform (PlantETP) released a policy brief entitled “Research and innovation towards a more sustainable and circular European agriculture; Exploring synergies between livestock and crop sectors”. The policy brief is based on a more extensive joint paper that was published September 2019.
–This brief fits perfect on the profile of SLU, says Dirk Jan de Koning. In fact, I would argue it could become part of SLU’s forthcoming strategy. The most important message for me is that we have to combine all our disciplines, strengths and skills across SLU to develop new, circular, sustainable production systems. In order to optimize the synergy in circular livestock-cropping systems we need novel solutions. To develop the optimal system for different regions in Sweden, we need improved methods to evaluate sustainability that account for all aspects of the value chain. I am convinced that SLU, together with its strategic partners, can be the key player in developing and implementing these solutions for Sweden, provided we pull together behind this task across our faculties and departments. We can expect forthcoming topics within Horizon Europe that will require and integrated approach between crop and livestock production and I think SLU can be very successful in this area if we create the right conditions.