Knowledge for better food systems

Regenerating Europe's soils: making the economics work

This report from international consultancy SYSTEMIQ sets out how farmers in different regions across Europe can transition profitably to regenerative agricultural practices. It estimates that soil degradation currently costs the European Union €97 billion per year, mostly in damage to human health. 

The report lists regenerative farming practices, including minimising the use of agrochemicals, avoiding bare soil (e.g. cover crops), minimising soil disturbance, and maximising on-farm biodiversity. It also uses arable farming in France and orange growing in Spain to illustrate the costs involved in transitioning to regenerative practices.

Read the full report, Regenerating Europe's Soils: Making the Economics Work, here. See also the Foodsource resource How do food systems affect land-use and biodiversity?

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Europe

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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