Friendly Fruit is a demonstrator project funded by EIT Climate-KIC & CSA Booster.
Current fruit production is emitting greenhouse gases like every agriculture production and thus has to get adapted to climate change. Fruits crops are the ones using the greater level of phytosanitary products and the one emitting a high level of GHG for producing, transporting and storing them. Therefore, better practices can reach a big impact on GHG emissions.
Strawberry and Apple, the two focus fruits chosen for the project, represent ca 11% of Global Fruit Market and almost 50% of Danone’s global fruit volume and are number 1 and 2 fruits for MOM group.
The Friendly Fruit project aims to identify, organize and set up the appropriate structure in the long term to define, test, implement & promote environment-friendly agricultural practices in various regions in the fruit industry.
Strawberry and apple fruit production will be used as a test case. Research Institutes and Experimental centers are bringing their expertise to assess for the impacts of these practices on agronomical performances, on environment and social organization, which will be implemented via Corporate Partners Supply Chains on Farm Level and all these knowledge will be disseminated to achieve industry-wide impact.
Friendly Fruit is aiming not only to define, systematize and implement agricultural practices for various climatic and soil types but also to empower farmers with key knowledge so they can make a practical step change towards more sustainable farming and adaptation to Climate Change. This will bring systematic changes based on scientific expertise towards sustainable agriculture in the fruit value chains.
Friendly Fruit focuses on following targets which have the biggest impacts on the environment and human health:
1) phytosanitory control,
2) water use efficiency,
3) soil quality and biodiversity,
4) use of new energies, and
5) mitigation of global warming effects.
Friendly Fruit participants - EIT Climate-KIC partners and third parties
Friendly Fruit is structured in 5 workpakages (see image below):
- WP1 aims to set up and manage the new environment-friendly practices on strawberry and apple.
This is the groundbasis of the project. It will be based on a “go/no-go” approach : practices that don’t prove to reach our objectives will be stopped and replaced by new ones with more potential.
- WP2 aims to evaluate the multi-performance of the innovative production practices proposed and tested in WP1:
- agronomical impacts (yield, fruit quality, plant growth), sanitary (disease and pest symptoms),
- environmental (Carbon, organic matter –MO- in soil, soil structure, water consumption, water quality, residues on fruits, biodiversity,…)
- as well as economical and organisational impacts will be considered.
Some of these measurements are innovative in terms of specific reporting (e.g. Soil Health & Carbon Sequestration), which is a challenge for many industry members. WP2 also aims to integrate all these impacts into one tool which will be able to summarize the global impact of one orchard in one region… which is the first ever attempt to do that.
- WP3 and WP4 are dedicated to respectively dissemination and training; to find out the best ways to transfer and to use the current networks to disseminate these practices in Europe and beyond.
- WP5 is dedicated to the project management and coordination of all activities by INRA with Danone as co-leader.
In 2018 tests of new varieties less susceptible to disease and pest, more resilient and adapted to various growing conditions and fitting with industry demand and needs have been performed on strawberry (new variety tests will start in 2019 on apple).
The ambition of the project is to disseminate all these best practices for the short and the long term based on existing communication networks throughout Europe.