HARVEST; Healthy Apples Research: Valuing Environmental Sustainability of Topsoil

Project

HARVEST; Healthy Apples Research: Valuing Environmental Sustainability of Topsoil

The HARVEST project will develop a novel soil health strategy to decrease the use of chemical in DANONE's apple orchards used for baby food production.

The HORIZON 2020 societal challenges highlight the need to innovate on agricultural practices that increase agroecosystem resilience and foster efficient use of available water and nutrients. This is particularly relevant for baby food production systems since there are stringent European regulations that limit the amount of chemical residue levels in baby food. The HARVEST project will develop a novel soil health strategy to decrease the use of chemicals in DANONE’s fruit production systems for baby food that simultaneously enhance soil-borne disease suppressiveness and nutrient/water use efficiency while maintaining fruit productivity. HARVEST will apply biodiversity practices consisting of growing plant species mixtures in the inter-row space between apple trees.