EBIC Experts Forum receives resounding praise from members

On 20th March, EBIC held its annual Experts Forum (EEF) in Brussels. This type of event is the lifeblood of EBIC, providing opportunities for collaboration, innovative thinking, and action planning, as well as giving members the chance to meet in-person with our Project Teams (PTs).

When surveyed, members were clear in their praise of the event, with 100% of respondents rating the event useful and 96% likely to recommend an EBIC membership.

The day started with two working sessions of EBIC PTs meetings, which were followed by Dr. Theodora Nikolakopoulou from DG GROW’s Fertilising Products team of the European Commission. She presented the latest developments for biostimulants in the Fertilising Products Regulation, explaining the key points of the agreement between the Council and the Parliament on the digital labelling of EU fertilising products. She also gave an update on the implementation status of the Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR) and future developments.

Of particular interest to EBIC members, she presented the ongoing technical studies for the future development for the FPR. About animal by-Products (ABPs), Dora mentioned that the questions proposed by Q-Lab were reviewed and modified by DG GROW. Right after the meeting, she shared an updated version of the questions with the EBIC secretariat, who immediately started to prepare input.

This was followed by a session featuring representatives of FoodDrinkEurope, Fertilizers Europe, and ECOFI alongside the two EBIC PT Farm-to-Fork Co-Leaders. This panel discussion was dedicated to advocacy supporting regulatory and to strengthening strategic partnerships. Kevin Bosc – Co-Leader of the Farm-to-Fork PT – moderated the session and was joined by his fellow Co-Leader Miguel Rodríguez-Villa Förster​, who presented EBIC’s Manifesto, and Will Surman, FoodDrinkEurope (FDE), Antoine Hoxha, Fertilizers Europe (FE) and Nicolas Willaume, European Consortium of the Organic-Based Fertilizer Industry (ECOFI).

All three of the associations spoke about the need for the EU to step up its support of its agrifood industry, including through better access to innovation for farmers and echoed the importance of food value chain stakeholders working together to support each other’s advocacy work and said they would be eager to work with EBIC again in more public-facing advocacy events in the future.

The day concluded with a meeting of the Mid-Term Strategy Steering Group which reported on the morning sessions and further discussed 2024 work plan adjustments ahead of the budget vote at the General Assembly of members on June 27th, 2024.

It was the opportunity for PT Co-Leaders to report about the meetings in the morning, highlighting key takeaways from those meetings. The discussion stemmed around updates on PTs collaboration needs, further to past conversations and whether there are any tweaks needed for the 2024 EBIC integrated work plan. Members approved a preliminary budget in December 2023 and will be requested to vote on a final budget during the online General Assembly of members on June 27th, 2024.