Servicing Policy Packages for the Agri-food Sector
Publication Year: 2015
SPREE: Servicing Policy for Resource Efficient Economy is a three-year project from 2012-2015 under the European Union’s Environment Program (FP7). The objective of the project is to design policy packages to achieve sustainable production and consumption patterns characterized by the transition from the purchase of consumer products to services in three sectors: water, transportation and food agriculture. The main product of the project is “Policy Packages for Transition to Service Consumption” which will help achieve a complete separation between economic growth and environmental damage while taking into consideration social considerations.
The Agri-food sector is one of the three sectors for which the options and contribution of servicing to absolute decoupling were examined (the other two sectors are Water and Mobility). The servicing system chosen for study within the Agri-food sector is Crop Protection Management Solutions which is a business-to-business (B2B) system defined as the provision of crop protection services to the farmer instead of selling him/her pesticides per-se. This means that rather than being sold, pesticides are integrated into an information intensive service package, which is designed to reduce the use of pesticides while maintaining the level of crop protection required by the farmer.
The first step of the policy packaging process was defining the objective of the Policy Package of the Agri-food sector: to foster servicing in vineyard protection, as a tool to realize absolute decoupling. The decoupling indicator for the Agri-food sector is defined as the ratio of total farm revenue per hectare to environmental impact per hectare. The second step was building an inventory of over 60 PI divided into 6 categories: “Information and agriculture extension”, “Research, education and training”, “Regulation” , “Economic incentives” , “Economic disincentives” and “Provision of infrastructures”. Afterwards, each policy instrument was ranked based on two criteria (effectiveness and implementability) on a range of 1 (low) to 10 (high). In the next step, the 30 most promising instruments were selected and the interrelations between them evaluated using a relation matrix and converting this into a visual diagram.