Research project A Europe-wide thematic network in support of a sustainable future for EU dairy farmers

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Fleur Marchand

Scientific director of Social Sciences department

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Main research question

EuroDairy is a new international network to increase the economic, social and environmental sustainability of dairy farming in Europe, at a time of unprecedented challenge for the sector. EuroDairy will foster the development and dissemination of practice-based innovation in dairy farming, targeting key sustainability issues following the abolition of milk quotas: socio economic resilience, resource efficiency, animal care, and the integration of milk production with biodiversity objectives.

Research approach

EuroDairy spans 14 countries, from Ireland to Poland, and from Sweden to Italy, encompassing 40% of dairy farmers, 45% of cows and 60% of European milk output. The project adopts the interactive model of the European Innovation Partnership, putting farmers at the center of practice-based innovation, adapting and developing new and existing scientific knowledge to produce implementable solutions, which can then be shared across the network.

Relevance/Valorization

EuroDairy aims to strengthen the connection of science and practice, ensuring a two-way flow of information and ideas within and across 14 EU Member States. In the EU regions, farmer-driven ‘Operational Groups’ will come together to target specific problems or opportunities for the dairy sector. At national level, EuroDairy partners will stimulate the establishment of these ‘multi-actor’ groups consisting of farmers, advisors, vets, researchers, etc. and the EuroDairy network will link these existing and new groups across borders, so that innovations identified in one country or region can be shared with another. In addition, the project will establish 120 innovating dairy farmers across Europe to demonstrate best practices and extend the application of new knowledge.