Gelling green intentions into eco-innovations for agriculture (GEL)

GEL was submitted in May 2005 to the European Union Framework Programme 6. It was not successful at this time but Eco Innovation believes it has much potential as a project if future funding sources can be procured.


While agriculture is no longer the main source of employment in rural areas, farmers across Europe are looking to diversify their traditional role as food producers [Van Huylenbroeck and Durand 2003]. Change is also fostered by consumers’ preferences increasingly determined by health and environmental safety concerns, and policies increasingly determined by environmental integration. Professionals willing to adapt to this rapidly changing environment can opt for alternative farm enterprises (AFE): farm-based activities outside the mainstream of modern conventional agriculture (agri-tourism, farm forestry, new types of livestock, organic agriculture and on-farm processing) [Cawley et al. 1995]. Green intentions of making agriculture more sustainable, however don’t necessarily gel into concrete results: there are barriers to eco-innovations. GEL addresses those challenges mainly faced by two types of SMEs of the agricultural, food and rural development sector.