PARTRIDGE project appears at top agricultural conference in Brussels
The FFA is an international conference that has, over the years, established itself as the premier event where agriculture and the environment are discussed in open dialogue.
This year’s FFA called for sustainable action by all stakeholders and society to deliver real world solutions in order to create a healthy future through healthy farming practices and food production. Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan, Louise Fresco (President of Wageningen University), Massimo Bottura (Chef Patron of Osteria Francescana and Founder of Food for Soul) and Phil Hogan (EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development) were some of the key speakers at the conference.
The main messages were to encourage and find the opportunity to support, mentor and train the next generation, food being a powerful tool for change, the need for an international agreement on food and agriculture and the call for the right EU policies to guarantee continued support of EU farmers to maintain Europe’s high food security standards. Biodiversity, throughout the conference, remained an essential part of the discussion regarding a healthy future.
Therefore, PARTRIDGE lies at the heart of this, providing vital answers when real world action is urgently needed.
At the conference, the PARTRIDGE project had its own stand where it was given the opportunity to engage a diverse audience including leaders in politics, industry and farming. The 4-year PARTRIDGE project, using a bottom-up approach, much like the Farmer Cluster approach, aims to increase biodiversity by up to 30% by implementing 7% of high quality habitat. The habitat measures are tailored towards the nationally-declining grey partridge with a wide range of farmland wildlife also benefiting from. With its project banners and leaflets, PARTRIDGE demonstrated the importance of the project regarding the pioneering measures that are being implemented across ten 500 ha demonstration sites in England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. Several enthusiastic attendees learnt about the new PARTRIDGE project with lots of interesting cross-borders discussions providing important knowledge exchange.
Throughout the discussions, the challenge of implementation in the real-world setting remained clear. The PARTRIDGE project is a perfect example that demonstrates how to successfully restore farmland wildlife alongside profitable farming, but also how international collaboration and cooperation guarantees the success of the project.
Written by: Holly Kembrey, PARTRIDGE placement student