Event - Cross-visit

EU CAP Network cross-visit ‘Circular and organic soil management’

The EU CAP Network cross-visit between Operational Groups ‘Circular and organic soil management’ will take place on Wednesday 28 - Thursday 29 June 2023.

  • - CEST
  • English
  • In-person
Two people working in their garden

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the Support Facility for Innovation & Knowledge exchange | EIP-AGRI are organising two cross-visits between multiple Operational Groups (OGs) working in the field of organic farming, and more specifically:

The locations of the visits will be selected based on the outcomes of the call for interest.

The cross-visits will take place in parallel on Wednesday 28 – Thursday 29 June 2023. The working language during the cross-visits is English and there will be no interpretation.

The call for expressions of interest closed on 25 May 2023.

    Purpose and main goals

    The purpose of cross-visits between projects is to provide opportunities for cross-border knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning between OGs. The visits will create opportunities for intensive informal interactions between OG representatives from different Member States. They may also help to foster potential future collaborations between projects/actors and lead to the creation of transnational OGs.

    The main goals of cross-visits are to:

    • Enable peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange on the innovations that the involved projects address and on their multi-actor approach, allowing a deeper understanding of the innovation processes, providing further inspiration to participants and fostering synergies between projects;
    • Discuss common challenges, research needs from practice, inspirational ideas and potential solutions;
    • Exchange and further disseminate project findings across the EU;
    • Create opportunities for potential future collaborations and/or partnerships.


    Ongoing or recently finished Operational Group projects on the theme of ‘Circular and organic soil management’.

    Current agricultural systems face a range of problems, including environmental points of concern such as soil degradation and erosion, water scarcity and biodiversity loss. Organic and circular soil management are approaches towards sustainable agriculture. While both organic and circular soil management prioritise soil health and sustainability, they have some differences in their approach. Organic farming places a greater emphasis on avoiding synthetic inputs and GMOs, while circular soil management focuses on reducing waste and closing nutrient loops. However, these approaches can be complementary, where combining them can achieve even greater sustainability and resilience in agriculture. Composting to manage organic waste materials, such as crop residues, animal manure, and food scraps and simultaneously improve soil health and fertility is a striking example of combining organic and circular approaches.

    In this context, this cross-visit aims to involve different projects working on circular and organic soil management. From tackling common challenges to testing similar solutions, all relevant projects will be considered, particularly, but not limited to, those dealing with:

    • Challenges related to the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity in agriculture production (e.g. reuse and circularity of materials such as sand, manure and sediment but also efficient water management); climate change (e.g. soil degradation); socio-economic sustainability and the economic position of farmers; production losses; knowledge transfer and education; pest and disease control; pollution (e.g. from pesticides and nutrient run-off).
    • Solutions related to changes in production practices (e.g. conservation tillage, cover cropping, soil amendment, precision farming); knowledge, education and training (e.g. advise to farmers, decision support systems (DSS), demonstration sites, networking opportunities); new technologies (e.g. mapping technology, sensors for moisture, meteorological stations or geo-electrical sensors), new crop varieties and new composting/growing techniques (e.g. hydroponics).

    Selection Process

    A minimum of 2 and a maximum 3 participants per OG will be considered.

    Priority will be given to project applications where one of the applying OG representatives is a farmer/forester. In general, the group of representatives should come from different backgrounds.

    Project applications which come forward as hosts will be given additional credit during the selection process.

    Furthermore, applications will be analysed considering the OG project, the applicants and the possibility to host the cross-visit. More concretely:

    Selection criteria (projects)

    The OGs will be selected based on the relevance of their topic to the cross-visit subject. More specifically:

    • The objectives, activities and results of the project should contribute to the main objectives of the cross-visit and directly match the subject of the specific cross-visit:
      • For the topic Circular and organic soil management, circular/organic soil management practices should be a key aspect addressed by Operational Groups
    • In addition to a common theme, projects with shared characteristics (e.g., tackling the same type of challenge or testing same type of solutions) will be taken in consideration/given priority;
    • The projects should not be just starting nor should they be concluded too long ago (maximum 2 years since end of the project).

    Selection criteria (individual)

    The participants should meet the following criteria to ensure a match between supply and demand of learning needs and motivation:

    • be strongly motivated to participate in the cross-visit;
    • have intermediate or final results to share and learning needs they would like to fulfil that are relevant to the cross-visit subject;
    • have an interest to further exchange and cooperate with other OGs after the cross-visit is concluded.

    Selection criteria (hosting project)

    The choice of the site(s) to visit/the host(s) will depend on several factors such as, for instance:

    • The knowledge needs of participants;
    • Accessibility to the host premises from a logistical perspective.

    Preference will be given to hosts who can provide a meeting space with capacity for about 30 people.

    Application procedure

    The call for expressions of interest closed on 25 May 2023.