Agrofood, comprised of agriculture and food processing, is an important economic driver for many European regions. France, Germany and Ireland are among Europe’s top locations in agrofood.
In line with the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the objective is to make the agrofood sector more competitive while also striving towards more sustainability. Fostering technological innovation is therefore key to reducing the dependence of the agricultural sector on inputs (such as pesticides and fertilizers).
Interreg NWE projects enable the implementation of smart data solutions which contribute to improving both food safety and animal welfare (for instance, by fighting diseases in a non-chemical way). Tackling the waste issue is another way for the agrofood industry to reduce its environmental impact. The European Parliament has targeted a 30% reduction of food waste by 2025 compared to 2014, when it was in average of 180 kg per capita per year. Our projects help turn waste into a new resource with the development of bio-based products from agrowaste (like micro-algae). Regions in North-West Europe are at different stages of development when it comes to sustainable agrofood; thus, helping actors in less advanced regions through exchange of experience between partners is crucial.
Nine NWE agrofood projects make up more than 10% of all our projects and are either financed under the Innovation priority or the Resource and materials efficiency one.
 Priority Sector Report: Agrofood, European Cluster Observatory, Christian Ketels and Sergiy Protsiv, Center for Strategy and Competitiveness Stockholm, School of Economics, February 2017, p.6