Embedding crop diversity and networking for local high quality food systems


  • 2015-2019
  • Coordinator: BAGAP research unit
  • BAGAP Contact: Véronique Chable
  • BAGAP Research Theme: Participatory research on cultivated biodiversity
  • Website
  • Keywords: Participatory plant breeding, Plant genetic resources, Social innovation, Biodiversity conservation, Agrobiodiversity, Agroecology, Empowerment of rural areas, multi-actor approach, innovation, community biodiversity management, local adaptation, sustainability, local food systems, food quality, farmers/consumers network, seed regulations, transdisciplinarity, agro-ecological solutions, collaborative research, organic farming


DIVERSIFOOD is evaluating and enriching the diversity of cultivated plants within diverse agroecosystems so as to increase their performance, resilience and quality through a multi-actor approach. By integrating existing experienced networks and using specific and relevant cases across Europe the project strengthens “food culture” to improve economic viability of local chains resulting in a greater diversity of produce with a cultural identity.

With 21 partners from 12 European countries, DIVERSIFOOD is covering the whole food chain from genetic resources to marketing, connecting and amplifying local existing actions. It has designed specific concepts and methodologies for combining in situ experiments to ensure performance and quality. It evaluates the genetic resources of a dozen underutilized and forgotten plant species for organic and low-input agriculture or marginal/specific conditions. Various combinations of underutilized legumes associated with several cereals has been tested.

A new diversity is generated by innovative breeding methods designed for more intra-crop variation. DIVERSIFOOD helps to facilitate cooperation between participatory research networks and professional breeders as well as policy makers in connecting formal and informal seed systems in Europe in relation to international negotiations on Farmers’ rights with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Key-lessons based on the diverse experiences in the project are shared to support on-farm seed production networks to guarantee high quality seed.

DIVERSIFOOD is demonstrating the socio-economic value of on-farm seed systems, help at local and wider policy levels to increase food and environmental awareness, and improve multi-actor approaches to embed healthy and tasty local products in regional food chains. Demonstration and dissemination are taking place at all stages, in collaboration with network organizations for a greater impact.


Peer-reviewed journals

S. M. Klaedtke, L. Caproni, J. Klauck, P. de la Grandville, M. Dutartre, P. M. Stassart, V. Chable, V. Negri, L. Raggi, Short-Term Local Adaptation of Historical CommonBean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Varieties and Implications for In Situ Management of Bean Diversity, Molecular Sciences, 2017

Chable V., Serpolay E. (2016) Recherche multi-acteurs et transdisciplinaire pour des systèmes alimentaires bio et locaux - A multi-actors and transdisciplinary research for organic and local food systems. Techniques de l’Ingénieur AG103 (10 janvier 2016)  

Véronique Chable, INRA, France, Frédéric Rey, ITAB, France, Riccardo Bocci, Rete Semi Rurali, Italy Evolution of Research Organization for Organic Agriculture Based on Diversity within the Evolution of Three European Projects. In: Davis, K. 2016 Organic Seed Growers Conference Proceedings. February 4-6, 2016, Corvallis, OR. Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA. 167pp: 150-153

Frédéric Rey, Estelle Serpolay-Besson, Camille Vindras; Riccardo Bocci; Véronique Chable (2016) Creation of New Diversity for Resilience and Quality: CCP Strategies within Participatory Research for Cereals and Vegetables in Europe. In: Davis, K. 2016  Organic Seed Growers Conference Proceedings. February 4-6, 2016, Corvallis, OR. Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA. 167pp: 154-159

V Chable, E Nuijten, A Costanzo, I Goldringer, R Bocci, B Oehen, F Rey (2017) Diversifood, a multi-actor and transdisciplinary European research to boost cultivated diversity for quality and resilience. In Rahmann G, Andres C, Yadav AK, et al. (Eds.) (2017) Innovative Research for Organic 3.0 - Proceedings of the Scientific Track. Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, 1, Thünen report, no. 54, pp. 1-511. Proceedings of Organic World Congress 2017, Delhi, India, 9-11 November 2107: 580-583

Veronique Chable, Stephanie Hughes, Lee Buttala (2018) Community Seed Systems: New Networks to Build Synergies Among Seed Stewards. In Hubbard, K. 2018. Organic Seed Growers Conference Proceedings. February 14-17, 2018, Corvallis, OR. Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA. 115 pp: 16-18: 90-91

Synthesis / Technical sheet

9 Key-concepts for food diversity

BAGAP Staff Involved

Stéphanie Klaedtke, Anne-Lise Villard, Estelle Serpolay-Besson, Véronique Chable


The CERERE consortium consists of 21 partners


This project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 633571

Modification date : 06 February 2023 | Publication date : 19 March 2018 | Redactor : BAGAP research unit