Aurora Farms

RADIANT selected a suite of 20 pilot studies called AURORAs farms. These span the major biogeographical regions of Europe (Atlantic/Boreal; Mediterranean; Continental) where the inclusion of UCs aims to capitalise on native agrobiodiversity via dynamic value chains in exemplar ways. For example, in these AURORA Farms UCs are implemented using new marketing channels that enhance consumer-producer links.

Collectively, the diversity of AURORA farms allows RADIANT to showcase several strategies for integration of UCs for food, non-food applications, and across a range of cropping systems, including mixed, arable, organic, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, orchards, and horticulture.

The storyline of our 20 AURORA Farm Dynamic Value Chains (DVCs) that include UCs are:

  1. UoN – University of Nottingham (UK)

Bambara groundnut, a semi-arid African legume used for food and nutritional security. It is processed into flour, snacks and eaten as a pulse. Also, they showcase winged bean to complement/replace soybean for seed protein and foxtail millet, a highly drought tolerant cereal widely used for food in China, and forage in Eastern Europe.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. ESSRG – Environmental and Social Sciences Research Group (Hungary)

Einkorn wheat (Alakor), Emmer (Tönke), Khorasan wheat (Kamut) variety mixtures, heterogenous populations. Includes a bakery and artisan bread production.

  1. ESSRG – Environmental and Social Sciences Research Group (Hungary)

Mixed vegetables, herbs and cut flowers cultivated in a mulched permanent bed system. Direct farm sales, with products sold for family level self-sufficiency. Suitable for continental and temperate regions.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. CSIC – Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior Inv Cientificas (Spain)

Lentil, faba bean, grass pea, and pea for food. CSIC develops cultivars adapted to European farming systems, combining good quality with stress and disease resistance. UCs covered include types whose yield is sold fresh for direct consumption, and dry products (grains) for processing, including fractionation. This dynamic value chain includes SMEs, farmers, local associations, which operate  in temperate semi-arid environments.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. AUA – Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)

Wild- and leafy-greens used in highly efficient production systems and evaluated for nutritional value and post-harvest processing characteristics.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. UNITO – University of Turin (Italy)

Tomato landraces grown using novel biostimulants and biofertilisers to reduce the impact of abiotic stress (such as is induced by climate change impacts). Includes the physiological and molecular characterisation of stress-resilient landraces. This involves local networks, SMEs, and regional networks (Greek and Italian Government).

For more information, see this poster.

  1. CUT – Echnologiko Panepistimio Kyprou (Cyprus)

Tomato landraces and wild leafy vegetables with improved seed germinability and abiotic stress resilience intended to be introduced to highly efficient and innovative production systems.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. CRPA – Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (Itlay)

An Edible Park for citizens of Reggio Emilia”, including multiple UCs where innovative business models, profitability, value chain, food quality, processing, nutrition, added value and short value chain are in one place. Offers enormous potential for agrifood producers involved in food chains operating in urban or peri-urban areas. This AURORA boasts smarter logistics that shorten the distance between producers and consumers, stimulating market opportunities for local farmers and giving citizens access to fresh, healthy, and sustainably grown food.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. UL – University of Limerick (Ireland)

Miscanthus used to regenerate degraded soils via organic matter accumulation, enhancing ecosystem resilience and boosting food production. Showcases a long (15-20-yr) rotation with arable crops.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. JHI – James Hutton Institute (UK)

Bere barley used by Barony Mill produces Bere meal flour for local use in Bere bannocks (bread) and the flour is distributed to farm shops across Scotland. Grain used for producing malted bere grains (Crafty Maltsters, Cris Malt, Bairds); whisky (Bruichladdich, Raasay, Skapa), and beer (Arbikie, Swanney). This bere-based dynamic value chains presents the use of UCs for food and drinks.

For more information, see this poster, brochure or watch this video.

  1. UNIVPM – Universita Politecnica Delle Marche (Italy)

Flint maize and common bean (Italian landraces, ancient and/or locally grown). This AURORA promotes intercropping and identifies landraces and genotypes with high suitability for this purpose. Agronomic, physiological, and molecular characterisation of these genetic resources are reported.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. ILU – Institut fur Lebensmittel-und Umweltforschung (Germany)

Bermuda grass biomass cultured in Germany, and faba beans, to make starch a feedstock in non-food (industrial) applications.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. BIOFO – Biofontinhas “THE ART OF BALANCE” (Portugal)

100 different vegetable crop species are used in a rotation by a family of botanists in the Azores. This is a farming system with no machines working the soil, where all products are used by local restaurants. The chefs use the salad-mix daily, and all other specialty items on fine dining dishes as notes of flavour.

For more information, see this brochure or watch this video.

  1. FDM – Sociedade Agricola do Freixo do Meio Lda (Portugal)

The DVC model practiced here has existed since the beginning of 20th century and prioritises the restoration of soil, and utilises all plant types (tree, shrub and herbaceous) based on complex ecosystems plus natural- and local-fertility cycles. It has a unique multifunctional concept, where forestry, agriculture, livestock, fruit and vegetables, food-processing, -distribution, and -retailing, combine to boost environmental services and energy production activities simultaneously.

For more information, see this poster, brochure or watch this video.

  1. UNISG – Univ. Degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche (Italy)

Wheat local varieties (70 populations, and other traditional varieties) used in participatory and evolutionary plant breeding for sourdough bread. DVC includes producers and seed companies.

For more information, see this poster.

Il Papavero Rosso is a special small organic agricultural venture located in Piedmont, in northwestern Italy. Among the organic cereals grown at Il Papavero Rosso, there are underutilized varieties of ancient grains and blends of traditional varieties. This Italian one-stop-shop organic farm-flourmill-bakery is among the farms participating in the European Union’s RADIANT project aimed at promoting UCs. For more information about Il Papavero Rosso AURORA FARM, see this brochure or watch this video.

  1. CONAT – Connecta Natura (Spain)

Traditional fruit trees in the mountainous region of Valencia where local associations preserve and share cultivated biodiversity and traditional agroecological knowledge.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. HIW – HiWeiss SRL (Italy)

Multiple underutilised crops are grown using a conservation agriculture approach (continuous no-till, crop rotation and cover crops). This AURORA includes an innovative production process to isolate plant proteins, conserving their native structure and functionality, and which are used as food ingredients. By-products find new life in the bioenergy, plant protection, and plant nutrition industry.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. DIKOT – Mitropoulos I. – Lyras G. I.K.E. (Greece)

Several traditional legumes processed into flour, snacks and eaten as pulse. All the products are used for food and nutritional security. Products are covered by the “Agrocert” certification.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. IAI – Institute for Agrostrategies and Innovations (Bulgaria)

Traditional fruit tree varieties and vegetable crops grown with respect to traditional methods of the Bulgarian region. This extensive network of farmers and municipalities, also includes block chain to strengthen the exchange of knowledge between farming communities, and the IT sector which enables the digitisation of the underutilised crop-based dynamic value chains.

For more information, see this poster.

  1. CRPA – Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (Italy)

Landraces, ecotypes and varieties of alfalfa, bean, and clover are used to improve the resilience of crops used for feed in the production of an important Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) value chain for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This AURORA demonstrates the improvement of the agronomic-, physiological-, and quality-traits of the currently cultivated crops to counter the current issues of climate change whilst also satisfying farm- and land-management needs. The production is based in lowland and upland areas, and the value chain is achieved using a participatory approach involving farmers, SMEs, dairies, and other stakeholders.

For more information, see this poster.


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