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EU: New European association for innovation in fruit and vegetables

The research and innovation commission of the AREFLH (Assembly of the European Regions producing fruit, vegetables and plants), announced its decision to create a European Association for Innovation (EAI) in fruit and vegetables.

Both AREFLH and FRESHFEL (European Fresh Produce Association) will be responsible for this project that will bring research, experimentation and transfer centres together, as well as representative organisations for the sector (both in production and sales), in a way that meets the values of the "European Innovation Partnership Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability" working interface.

The initiative's objective, established by EUFRIN (European Fruit Research Institutes Network) is to develop a strategic agenda for research and innovation in fruit production, with the goal of setting the objectives towards which research and innovation in the fruit value chain should aim. Moreover, AREFLH will be in charge of establishing the strategic agenda for the vegetables sector.

The IRTA (Institute for Research and Technology in Agriculture) coordinates AREFLH'S research commission and is part of EUFRIN, organisation that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary by organising EUFRIN's symposium: "Research to benefit the European fruit industry: 20 Years of European Fruit Research Institutes Network."

The purpose of this new association will be to present research and innovation projects to the Commission.

The topics proposed by EAI are:

• Sustainable production and agro-ecology: sustainable production systems, reduced pesticide use and minimised waste. 

• Access to the markets (product adaptation to the markets: new sectors, new products). 

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