Understanding and improving the sustainability of agro-ecological farming systems in the EU

UNISECO Kick-off in Braunschweig

18 partners from 16 European countries came together in Braunschweig, Germany between 28 and 30 May 2018 to mark the start of the three-year research project “UNISECO: Understanding and improving the sustainability of agro-ecological farming systems in the EU”.

The UNISECO project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The kick-off was hosted by the Project Coordinator, the Thünen Institute.

Attendees included representatives of all UNISECO partners, project- and scientific officers to the project at the European Commission and the coordinator of the sister project LIFT financed under the same call SFS-29-2017.

The UNISECO partners are:

Through active engagement with a wide range of actors and stakeholders in a multi-actor approach, UNISECO will develop innovative approaches to enhance the understanding of socio-economic and policy drivers and barriers for further development and implementation of agro-ecological practices in EU farming systems.

The fruitful discussions at the kick-off meeting benefitted from the multidisciplinary nature of the UNISECO team. Partners took this opportunity to share their experience and knowledge of the different themes to be tackled by the project. Decisions were made by the group regarding the various phases of the project (that is structured around 9 ‘Work Packages’). The kick off meeting successfully provided all partners with general guidance for undertaking the project, with a particular focus on the first part of the research examining the conceptual framework of the sustainability assessment of AEFS agro-ecological farming systems (under ‘Work Package 2’).