In the seventh semester of the Regions 4Food Interreg Europe programme, the focus is already on the development and finalisation of the Hungarian action plan for the DDRIÜ. The project will focus on promoting digitalisation in the agricultural sector, which will help Europe move in a greener direction.

However, the focus is not only on digitalisation, but these developments are closely linked to other greener solutions and innovations. One of these could be the successful implementation of the circular economy.

The circular economy aims to preserve the labour and energy invested in the production-economic process for as long as possible. Accordingly, it seeks to save money by creating and operating value-preserving, value-renewing and recycling systems, involving economic actors from the designer to the producer and then to the user.

Features and benefits of the circular economy:

  • introduces new material management and business models based on finite and depleting resources, focusing instead on resource efficiency, thus reducing the resource demand on the economy and ensuring the profitability of enterprises;
  • identifies and eliminates waste, including greenhouse gases, air, soil and water pollution, through conscious design, as they represent wasted materials, energy and resources;
  • eliminating the use of substances that are hazardous and harmful to health and the environment, as they cannot be recycled back into the economy or released into the environment;
  • conserves and regenerates natural systems by reducing the use of primary raw materials and harmful emissions, while encouraging the use of secondary raw materials and contributing to increasing the organic matter and carbon content of soils;
  • promoting innovation, new technologies, environmentally friendly design, repair and maintenance;
  • emphasises a new type of consumer behaviour, which is no longer oriented towards ownership, but only towards the use of certain services through renting, leasing or sharing.

Not all of the above are fully transferable to the agricultural sector. However, several aspects can be put into practice in line with digital innovation. Its development could lead to a greener and more environmentally friendly Europe.

The Regions 4Food project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary.