1. Promotion of energy efficiency towards first places of policy agenda.
The agro-food sector is exceedingly regulated, and the impact that European policies have on it is crucial, as is the case of product standards, obligations to inform the consumers, or import and export policies.
In the other hand, some elements of support articulated by the Common Agricultural Policy exist and can help the inclusion of energy efficiency measures with specific funds for it, as is done with the investment support carried out by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. For the moment, these energy efficiency matters have not been included within the first priorities, in spite of being considered interesting matters. The participation of important associations of companies in TESLA project will boost the inclusion of these issues in policy makers’ agenda at national and European level.
2. Establishment of a permanent advisory service in energy issues for European associations of cooperatives.
The aim of the project is to persist in time after the 36 months duration of the project. In these 3 years, 110 audits will be carried out, but remaining knowledge and information after the project will be even more important. After the project execution, the participating organizations will have a team trained and expert. By 2020, at least 50% of the more than 7,300 cooperatives belonging to these associations will have received some kind of energy advice to improve its competitiveness. This service will achieve the same high level of quality as the rest of services offered by these associations, such as financial, technical, or legal advice. Besides that, a complete help desk with tools and a virtual forum to exchange information will be available during the project and after it.
3. Reduction of carbon footprint.
The improvements in environmental performance in the production of European agro-food products are especially linked to the energy use performed during their crops management, food manufacturing and distribution. It is well-known that the main factor for CO2 emissions during the agro-food industrial processes is energy consumption. In addition, agro-food producers are very aware of the importance that international markets give to food products’ carbon footprint, and to the decreasing trend of it.
Finally, it is important to remark that both, SCP Round Table (European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table) and most commonly used initiatives to calculate CO2 emissions (that are PAS 2050, ISO 14067, GHG protocol), mention emissions reduction through energy efficiency practices and renewable energies.