The BovINE network project has shown that farmers are a significant source of innovation, and play an important part in finding and implementing solutions to the sustainability challenges they face, BovINE co-ordinator Maeve Henchion has said.

The final conference before the three-year EU funded project ends on December 31, 2022 confirmed that beef farmers are willing agents of change to drive the sustainability of the sector.

Project partners recently welcomed over 250 delegates from across Europe and key EU policy players, including from DG Agri; DG Sante; Copa-Cogeca; and EUFRAS for the final dissemination conference in Brussels.

Information on the research innovations and 340 good practices generated by the network, and the “on-farm” demonstrations arranged by partners are available to access on the BovINE Knowledge Hub (BKH).

The project’s website provides links to additional resources including animations, webinars and multi-language materials accessed via the country flags of the nine partner countries. 

Speaking after the final dissemination conference, network manager for BovINE in Ireland, Kevin Kinsella said:

“The BovINE project has shown that by working closely together at national and EU level, farmers, researchers and advisors can achieve a lot more progress in tackling the sustainability challenges in the beef sector.” 

BovINE has a network manager based in each of the nine member states – Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The partners in Ireland are the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and Teagasc.

BovINE network project

Presentations by partners focused on good practices and solutions from research based on the project’s four themes of animal health and welfare; socioeconomic resilience; production efficiency and meat quality; and environmental sustainability. 

Solutions were identified to address the grass-roots needs of farmers, and collated by the project’s thematic leaders and network managers across the nine EU countries represented in the project.

L to r: Dr. Richard Lynch, Teagasc, project manager; Prof. Maeve Henchion, Teagasc, project co-ordinator; and Kevin Kinsella, IFA/Agspace, BovINE networking manager in Ireland

With targeted policy interventions and support from farm and specialist advisors, the solutions identified by the BovINE network are ready for implementation throughout Europe, project manager Richard Lynch said.

DG AGRI’s lead on research, outreach and geographical indications, and the project’s opening guest speaker for the policy session, Diego Canga Fano added:

“BovINE’s innovations will contribute to ensuring that livestock production plays its part in securing a sustainable and circular food system.

“DG AGRI recognises and appreciates the valuable work of BovINE in providing evidence-based knowledge to create solutions for farmers, as well as insights for policymakers and all stakeholders.”