The North Sea region (NSR) is an area of intensive farming with rapid soil degradation. Still, the demand for soil-improvers increases. The main barriers to meet this urgent need are a) the current disposal or inefficient use of biological waste, b) a lack of soil amendments for improvements of soil quality, c) lack of pollutant-free soil amendments and lack of trust to available soil amendments, d) a lack in microbial diversity on agricultural soils supporting plant growth, and e) the absence of an alignment in demands and risks in European and national regulations.
These shared challenges will be tackled by i) designing and producing tailor-made composts and composed-based products based on biological wastes, at on-farm (agricultural) and at compost-company (municipal) level; ii) testing and defining quality standards for composts for specific uses; iii) increasing the awareness, production and use of compost and compost-based biostimulants; and iv) developing guidelines to improve certification and regulation for quality compost in NSR; v) enhancing agricultural composting on-farm and external waste inputs, emission prevention; vi) providing interactive on-line tools for management of regional bio-waste to compost streams.
This will involve research/extension, compost producers, farmers, horticulturalists and authorities in five NSR . SOILCOM will transform ‘bio-waste’ to ‘resource’, supporting EU policy on circular economy and efficient resource use.