Preparatory actions on EU plant and animal genetic resources in agriculture

Reports & conclusions

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The information and views set out in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Commission. The Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible.


Literature Review

A thorough literature review providing an overview of the actual trends in genetic resources research has been carried out for each of the four domains of the preparatory action

1) Main report

2) Analysis report per domain:

a) Plant Genetic Resources in the EU

b) Forest Genetic Resources in the EU

c) Animal Genetic Resources in the EU

d) Microbial and Invertebrate Genetic Resources in the EU

3) Full list of references

Case studies

A total of 21 case studies were carried out during the course of the preparatory action. The reports presented below highlight the variability of situations in conserving and valorising genetic resources. 


1) Swiss vegetables and supply chain development (Switzerland)ProSpecieRara (PSR), in cooperation with the supermarket Coop, has organised a professional supply chain for traditional varieties.

2) A case study on lentils (Germany): This case study explores a long-term field experiment on lentils.

3) Genebank for wild plants for nutrition and agriculture (Germany)Ex situ conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) and other wild plant genetic resources

4) Conservation of sweet cherry varieties in Hagen (Germany)Establishment of a genebank collection of old varieties in the form of a cherry variety garden by a network coordinated by the municipality of Hagen

5) Nordic Food: Nordic Food Manifesto concept that was initiated in 2004 by famous chefs from different Nordic countries

6) AEGILOPS: Greek network for Biodiversity and Ecology in Agriculture

7) RAF Tomatoes: Development of the RAF tomato in Spain

8) Production and valorisation of the traditional variety “Tomate de Colgar”: Winter storage tomatoes grown in Spain

9) Breedwheat: Public private partnership in France on wheat

10) Organisation Bretonne de Selection: French (Brittany) conventional and organic plant breeding company

11) Turopolje pig breed: Breeding activities of the Nature Park breeding in Croatia

12) Microbial culture collection: Institute of Sciences of Food Production based in Bari in Italy

13) Monteleone di Spoleto Emmer: To foster the economic revival of the Monteleone di Spoleto Emmer in Italy

14) Eternal Moes: National network aims to maintain and grow old agricultural varieties

15) Landrace inventories in Portugal: Importance of collaboration between scientific, research and policy makers in a research context

16) NordGen: Example of regional collaboration encompassing the Nordic countries

17) Beer brewed from heritage barley: John Innes Centre and Sunderland University have re-discovered a Victorian barley variety

18) Crop for the Shop: Increasing the consumption of local food products at a fair price

19) Slow Food: Overview of Slow Food and compares the agendas of Slow Food in the Netherlands and in Italy

20) Future Tree Trust: To improve the timber quality of broadleaved trees planted in the UK and Ireland

21) SAVE Foundation: SAVE NGO which is a network organisation


Seven workshops have been organised in between June 2015 and April 2016. A total of more than 200 experts have participated to these events.

The objectives of these workshops were to discuss specific issues identified during the first tasks of the preparatory action.

Topic of these workshops:

1) Better integration of ex situ and in situ approaches towards conservation and sustainable use of GR at national and EU level: from complementarity to synergy:

Report  and  presentations:  R.Bocci and G. Gandini

2) FGR in Europe in a changing climate: challenges and needs for conservation:

Report and presentations: A.Rudow,  S. de Vries and T. Myking

3) Exploring the need for a pan-European network and infrastructure for the conservation and sustainable use of MiGRs in food and agriculture:

Report and Presentations: A. Sonneberg, G. Perrone, G. Verkley and A.Benedetti & L.Canfora

4) The impact of climate change on the conservation and utilisation of crop wild relatives in Europe:


5) Genetic resources for value chain development:

Report and presentations:  C. Bantle, B. Bartha, P. DieryckxVisscher, C. Duchene, S. Karjalainen, Arche Rapf,  D. Traon, S. Winkel and C. Zimmer

6) Access to genetic resources in the European Union:


7) Implementation of FAO Global Plans of Action: which role for the European Commission?

Report and presentations: D. Bojkovski/ERFPS. De Vries, ERPFAO CGRFAM. GroenewaldINRA/SYSAAF/Nofima, A. Schneegans/IntroA. Schneegans/EU activitiesS. Schröder and MiGR/discussions


The final deliverables of the second preparatory action will be published here by end of 2018.