On the 28-30th of June, The Interreg MED Programme hosted the ‘New challenges in the AgriFood sector as part of the 1st Green Grown Community Transnational Event’, organized to bring together and involve relevant stakeholders of the Mediterranean area and other European regions to discuss the challenges of the Agrofood sector. The conference held workshops, round table discussions and field trips, encouraging discussions and debates. WE&B attended workshops and roundtables on Thursday the 29th of June. These roundtables sessions related to topics on Zero-Km Agrofood, Emerging Challenges, Growing better cities with Metropolitan agriculture, and Policy Gaps within the Agrofood Sector.

The workshop and roundtables were interesting to take part in, and the discussions that took place were effective in representing opinions from different backgrounds. It is important to take into account these, often conflicting, opinions when developing new strategies for the future development of a sustainable Agrofood sector. This way, the integration of knowledge can be key to a higher understanding of the emerging challenges.

The challenges that were gathered from the Agrifood sector, all precede to one specific issue: the tradeoff between the rising demand for food, but at a lower economic and environmental cost. This might mean changing social attitudes and patterns such as consumption and tourism, towards a more eco-friendly, sustainable way of living. For example, education and engagement of locals and tourists alike to purchase local produce, was discussed as an important way of eliminating certain environmental impacts such as CO2 emissions from the transport of food.

WE&B will look to develop a larger role within this sector, potentially to tackle the existing knowledge gaps between different sectors and implement innovative ideas for social development. By analyzing the problems and gaps that exist socially and economically, environmental considerations in the Agrifood sector, by researchers and industry, can be implemented in a more effective way.

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