Lisbon days: surfing the wave of sustainability

A talk on tomorrow’s agrofood strategy to go green (and increase the branding value)

On the 28th of November, under the joint organization of Federalimentare, FIPA and ENEA, the PEFMED interim event was organized in the city of Lisbon at the presence of dozens of agrofood companies from all the Mediterranean regions concerned in the PEFMED pilot actions, technical experts, national associations, innovation managers and international stakeholders. The goal of the events, that brought to Lisbon about 50 people from 6 EU Countries, was to  roll out the message and the findings of the PEFMED project starting from the experience of the «real-life performers», namely the companies, the LCA and market experts concerned in the one-year pilot tests conducted across 9 very representative Mediterranean agrofood sectors.

The overall goal was to  point out market advantages (beside the clear target of improving the environmental footprints) and so to motivate new clusters and supply chains to progressively introduce the PEFMED approach as analytic basis to assess the posture and readiness to the Product Environmental Footprint standards. Within the Round Table, the overall results of PEFMED pilot phase were presented, including the main results of the PEF studies and the socio-economic KPIs. Moreover, the next steps of the PEF transition phase at the European Commission’s level were described. LCA experts, pilot companies and RIS3 managers brought their experience on the project and shared future possible developments.

The discussion let emerged some crucial bullet points to work on in the future. Firstly, all companies agreed on the fact that quality and price are so far the drivers for his clients, but the attention to the environmental performance of a products is growing, therefore, if looking at the future, they have to get prepared to this. A rising attention should be put on reliable environmental label, which  is so far the best way to inform clients about environmental performance of products. Surely, one of the main point was the role played by raw materials in the environmental footprint. Many processing companies are already very well performing from the  environmental point of view… however, much more shall be done by primary sectors, that has to be more closely involved in projects like PEFMED to improve the environmental footprint. Basically, what is more needed actually in the Mediterranean area is to implement more and more demonstrative projects, where both primary sectors and industries are concerned, rather than R&D projects, that have anyway a great importance.

In the course of the Lisbon days, numerous other activities were carried out, including B2B meetings with market experts and companies to focus new possible intervention scenarios to improve the company business model in a greener way and a sharp technical meeting of the LCA managers to define strategies to expand the PEFMED approach to sustainability to new Mediterranean agrofood clusters.

Marco Meggiolaro

Marco Meggiolaro works at Euris - European Researches & Investments Services - in Padova since 2005 as project manager.

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