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European tour of local initiatives

Increasing cultivation and consumption of pulses

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Summary:

Event hold on the 15th of November 2022, from 17:00 to 18:30 CET

It ain’t easy to explain the meaning of Hodmedod – for sure its the name of a British success story how to directly market pulses and thus increase, at least locally the deplorably low consumption of pulses in Europe. Such networks are popping up all over Europe and we will take a tour to some of them.

How come that still most of the small pulses consumed in Europe are imported? Our food system seems gridlocked and many farmers trapped in vicious circles of commodity crop production for an anonymous feed and energy market. This is not inevitable! Individual and cooperative initiatives and companies are challenging this status quo. They are bringing back pulses into fields and onto plates, re-localizing the production of ecologically and nutritionally precious crops, lowering the carbon footprint of food and increasing consumer health and delight! 

During this conference, we heared inspiring stories and discuss concrete actions at our virtual roundtable with: 

  • Constanze Bickert, a young german farmer (Abis selection) pioneering several pulse crops and establishing direct sales, 
  • Josiah Meldrum from the british company Hodmedod’s, creating a market for farmers to bring back nearly forgotten traditional pea and lentil varieties, 
  • Marcus Nordgren from Svensk Fava, a Swedish small-scale fava bean processor
  • Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy, researcher from INRAE, analysing innovations across the agri-food system in order to spread them
  • Nicolas Carton, agronomist and pulse ambassador (coordinating and moderating the conference)

We discussed specific agronomic, technical and organisational issues faced by pioneers of neglected crops and how they solved them. We also focused on the food networks that have become active around these initiatives and which make them successful: what is the nature of the collaboration with/between farmers, chefs, processors (for flour, jars, snacks, spreads, etc.), retailers, researchers? How do they engage with consumers?

Thank you everyone for coming! 

The Global Bean team and partners