From the 21st to the 23rd of November, many SoilValues partners went to Madrid for the European Mission Soil Week. This annual event, organized by DG AGRI in tandem with the EU funded project Prepsoil and EUSO, brought together stakeholders from every corner of Europe and beyond. Researchers, policymakers, farmers, foresters, spatial planners, landowners, businesses, and organisations as well as the general public, all fueled by a desire to making European soils healthier.
The objective of this week was to promote the Horizon Europe Mission ‘ A soil Deal for Europe’ and to raise awareness about the importance of soil health. Different European soil projects where showcased, including SoilValues. The event served as a unique platform for these research projects to communicate innovative solutions grounded in cutting-edge research. Moreover, consortia explored avenues for collaborations, seeking ways to synergize their efforts.
The first edition of the European Mission Soil Week held special significance because the commission recently proposed the EU Soil Monitoring Law. This legislative proposal aims to strive towards healthy soils by 2050, emphasizing the need for improved monitoring and measurement systems. Soil health is currently high on the political agenda, considering it a vital domain for translating the objectives of the Green Deal into reality and achieving climate neutrality for the European Union by 2050.
Some Key takeaways from the event documented by SoilValues partner KOIS:
1. Shifting from niche to systemic change demands multiple scalable, viable business models.
2. The investment case for soil quality emphasizes its multi-faceted impact and societal costs of neglect.
3. Scaling through aggregation fosters a bandwagon effect in Europe, attracting more small farmers due to widespread adoption and social influence.
4. Different instruments (or a mix) are necessary at different phases: kickstarting, maintaining, and consolidating the transition to ensure the impact achieved is sustained.