EU soil restoration project

Igniting an EU movement towards soil-friendly agriculture

Project date: 1 April 2019 – 31 October 2019

Started in April 2019, the EU soil restoration project (also known as “Igniting an EU movement towards soil-friendly agriculture”) evaluates the business case for soil health restoration in the EU; it also explores models to implement farm-level change programmes, from “conventional” to soil health regenerating practices. The project began with an analysis of the total costs of soil degradation within the EU (estimated at ~€100m); it then identified soil degradation hot-spots, highlighting areas of Europe that are important for food production and at high risk. With support from SUN and Sitra, and in collaboration with the Belgium-based farm management firm Soil Capital and SYSTEMIQ, the project is focusing on the identified hotspot – the wheat-growing Marne department of France. The aim is to make a detailed business case to farmers for improving soil health, design a new entity that would help unlock this business case, and explore how these innovations could be replicated around Europe. The interim findings were presented at the World Food Summit in Munich, the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki, the Future of Food and Agriculture in London, the “4per1000” climate change and soils conference in Poitiers, the “Planet A” Summit in Châlons-en-Champagne and the FSA Community of Practice Summit in Warsaw.