At the same time, society has strong expectations for a significant reduction in the use and impact of chemical pesticides in agriculture or veterinary drugs (especially antibiotics) in livestock. These are reflected in public policies and European regulations (Green Deal, Farm to fork…) and French regulations (Ecophyto and Ecoantibio plans…).
In this context, technical institutes are committed to proposing innovative practices that meet the needs and constraints of sectors to improve the health of plants or animals, humans (consumers, citizens and workers) and the balance of ecosystems.
The work aims to:
- better understand the biology and epidemiology of bioaggressors but also the characterization and monitoring of contaminants (minerals, organics) and biological agents of the food chain.
- develop and disseminate detection, reduction or risk management tools at different scales, from the animal or plant to the territory.
- propose or evaluate alternative practices and methods to synthetic inputs to ensure the health of animals or plants (biocontrol solutions, agronomic practices, equipment, genetics…).
Acta promotes inter-sectoral exchanges on issues of biological surveillance of the territory and surveillance of the food chain as well as the search for alternative solutions to synthetic inputs.
Particular emphasis is given to biocontrol solutions (agents and products using natural mechanisms as part of integrated pest management) with the establishment since 2016 of Acta biocontrol group which allows experts from the various Agricultural Technical Institutes to share their expertise, pool monitoring tools, exchange solutions and experimentation methods but also to develop joint projects.
Acta is also involved in supporting agricultural sectors in the implementation of integrated crop protection by coordinating the EcophytoPIC portal as well as through the publication of reference works (Acta Index collection) and the provision of training.
Finally, Acta and its network are members of the Solutions Contract association whose objective is to identify and deploy concrete, effective, sustainable and accessible crop protection solutions to support the agricultural sector in the agro-ecological transition.
Similarly, the technical institutes of animal sectors are interested in evaluating and managing animal welfare, whether in breeding, transport or slaughter. They are involved in:
- R&D work on developing indicators to assess animal welfare and good practices to improve it;
- the development of tools for sectors to support different actors.