2019 EIT Food Accelerator Network Programme winners: Orbem AI, uFraction8 and Trigger Systems. The finalists were invited to compete for three awards, consisting of financial support worth EUR 100 000 each. The winners were announced at the EIT Food Venture Summit on 13 November 2019, at Estufia Fria in Lisbon.
Digitalisation and New Technologies in Agri-food event is co-organised by JRC and Junta de Andalusia. It is composed of four different parts: 2019 Autumn Working Committee Meeting (3 December 2019), Exploring synergies between Digital Innovation Hubs and Agri-food Partnerships (4 December 2019), Field visit (4 December 2019) and B2B event (3-4 December 2019) organised by EEN.
Weekly activities of the Commissioners in energy & climate, environment, digital, transport, trade, finance, food & drink and health policy.
Food packaging waste is currently under scrutiny. In the context of its Circular Economy Action Plan1 , the EU is addressing this through, among others, its Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative2 , which aims to enhance the reliability of environmental claims — both in a business-to-consumer and in a business-to-business context. The initiative aims, therefore, to boost the market of green and circular products. However, a review of the methods available for assessing the environmental sustainability of packaging now highlights the difficulty of clearly characterising packaging’s environmental impact. The study suggests a new, fully quantifiable framework that could help to standardise assessment methods and bring ‘environmental footprint labelling’ to fruition.
Considering the impact on soil carbon, biodiversity and ecotoxicity is important when assessing the environmental footprint of dairy products, suggests a new study, which explored the impacts of organic and conventional milk production in three types of system established in Western Europe. The study found that organic milk production had a significantly lower impact on ecotoxicity and biodiversity than conventional milk production, and suggests that including soil carbon changes in the assessment would result in greater reductions in the carbon footprint of organic, rather than conventional, milk — in some cases by up to 18%.
Microplastics, polymer-based particles of less than five millimetres in size, have become an archetypal sign of anthropogenic waste and environmental pollution. This German study explores how microplastics in soil affect plants, screening the potential effects of six different microplastics on the soil environment, plant traits and function using a terrestrial plant-soil model based on the spring onion (Allium fistulosum). The researchers find that plants react strongly to microplastic exposure, with significant changes observed in the physical parameters of soil, plant root and leaf traits and plant biomass.
As the Guardian of the Treaties, the European Commission has today sent a letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom for breaching its EU Treaty obligations by not suggesting a candidate for the post of EU Commissioner. The UK authorities have until Friday 22 November at the latest to provide their views. This short time period is justified by the fact that the next Commission must enter into office as soon as possible.