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Work Packages

On-farm assessment of innovative legume crop management practices and ecosystem services: from field to European scales


The aim of WP1 is to assess the economic performance and environmental impacts of current and innovative legume-based systems. Based on farm networks, WP1 will quantify legume yields and the ecosystem services gained from legume-based systems scaled up across the EU through agronomic scenarios designed with the actors of the selected value chains. The specific objectives of this WP are :

  • To demonstrate and share the agroecological functions and the ecosystem services provided by legumes in field conditions through on-farm demonstration activities.
  • To quantify the provision and the economic value of agro-ecosystem services related to growing legumes for a diversity of crops, crop management and cropping systems under diverse pedo-climatic conditions in Europe.
  • To design and assess realistic agronomic scenarios (future areas grown in legumes and legume-based systems description) by up-scaling across EU legume-based cropping and grassland systems, in order to quantify the aggregated benefits of such systems across Europe, taking into account the preceding effects, the systemic effects and the economic benefits and risks.


The combination of literature-based knowledge, crop-model simulations, and data collected in on-farm networks will give synthetic and realistic information on achievable performance and ecosystem services provided by different legume-based cropping and grassland systems across the EU. Information sharing among the actors of the local on-farm networks will be enhanced to favor co-design of legume-based cropping systems maximizing the value of legume benefits. Together with their users, a decision-support system gathering this information will be designed. This decision-support system will assist farmers in choosing the most relevant legume species, crop management, and cropping system adaptation to maximize the value of the legumes used. Scenarios of scaling-out legume-based cropping and grassland systems across EU will be co-designed and assessed together.

Development of legume value chains

Workpackage leader: Dr. Marie-Benoît Magrini (INRA).


The objectives of WP2 are to:

  • Identify technological, organisational and institutional levers to support the development of legume-based feed and food value chains, considering the different streams of the supply chains, from harvest to consumer markets.
  • Analyse the ways that added value is created at the different streams of the supply chains, especially by technological innovations and/or organisational innovations.
  • Identify the supply chains that create more economic incentives for farmers by creating more supplementary added value on legumes crops.
  • Establish a panorama of the various qualities requirements that could be proposed for farmers for several supply chains.


WP2 relies on a comprehensive analysis of 31 legume-based supply chains with key-stakeholders and scientific expert interviews according to their strategic core activity. This WP will analyse the technological and organizational obstacles and levers at the different streams of the supply chains (collecting and storing crops, 1st and 2nd processing, feed formulation, packaging…) in feed and food sectors, and for several European countries. This analysis will use the expertise of key stakeholders through research institutes networks, inter-professional organisations, and a bibliometric review and documentary monitoring carried out by research institutions and professionals on the subject. In particular, current quality parameters used for legumes will be collected from all countries involved in the project, as well as those used in Canada (Canadian Grain Commission, 2016) and Australia (Pulse Australia, 2016) for comparison.

Economic analysis of European legume markets

Work package leader: Dr. Marcus Mergenthaler (FH-SWF ).


The aim of WP3 is to increase market transparency in order to overcome local and regional lock-ins, thereby lifting constraints in the development of legumes in the EU. This WP will enable the actors of legume production (planting, crop management and harvest), trading (transportation, storage and distribution), processing (food and feed production) and consumption as well as policy-makers to understand price setting mechanisms and gain access to specific and up-to-date market information about European legume markets. It will also help by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) to determine the benefits for the individual farmer, the environment and the EU as a whole. The specific objectives of this work package are to:

  • Describe and analyse the heterogeneity of the existing legume markets from a marketing perspective and to assess the impact of traders and brokers on the legume markets.
  • Elaborate price setting schemes for legumes and to define price setting mechanisms that will facilitate more transparent legume markets in the EU.
  • Identify local and regional levers in the development of price information systems for legumes in the EU.
  • Develop an easy-to-use tool for farmers to calculate the economic value of legumes in their crop


Primary data will be collected by means of guided expert-interviews. This approach enables information gathering and contextualizing in the heterogeneous legume markets, employing theories and concepts from institutional economics, behavioural economics and marketing. As traders and brokers are part of the target group for these interviews, their market knowledge will be accessed as well. Additional secondary data from statistics authorities and literature will complete the picture and allow for scientific policy advice to create a sustainable, more transparent and more efficient European legume market.

Identification of levers for EU and national policies to facilitate the development of legumes in Europe

Work package leader: Dr. Davide Viaggi (UNIBO).


The general objectives of this WP are to identify improved practical policy options to develop sustainable and competitive legume-based farming systems and agri-feed and food chains in the EU. Specific objectives are to:

  • Perform a diagnostic of relevant policies affecting legumes and understand the effect of current policy settings at EU and national levels.
  • Identify potential policy needs.
  • Simulate selected alternative policy design options.
  • Identify good practices and recommendations on prospective policy measures.


Improved policy measures to support legume development will be identified working at different scales from farm to EU (and taking into account global economic issues) and including a wide range of policy areas (e.g. direct incentives to farmers, cross compliance and greening, innovation measures, agri-environmental schemes). Methodologies to support the identification of improved policy measures are based on theoretical analysis, descriptive market evidence and expert and stakeholder workshops. Selected policy design options will be simulated bio-economic models (based on farm/sector representation through mathematical programming models) at farm and regional level and/or chain level when relevant (see Bartolini et al, 2007; Viaggi et al., 2013 and Gooday et al., 2014 for examples of models available). Suitable models of policy mixes to incentivise sustainable legume-based cropping systems will be identified. A special focus will be given to the Common Agricultural Policy, which is starting a process of reform in view of the post-2020 period. The tasks will involve the organisation of workshops in selected areas of the EU (see below). UNIBO will provide the methodology for workshops and local partners will run the workshop and report back to UNIBO. Guidelines will include the typology of stakeholders to be involved. Stakeholder involvement will be planned also in connection

Transition path analysis for the development of EU based-legume value chains

Workpackage leader: Chris L. M. de Visser MSc (DLO).


The objectives of this WP are to:

  • To identify opportunities and bottlenecks in food and feed value chains based on legume use.
  • To increase the learning curve of legume-based food and feed value chains based on best practices identified.
  • To design successful transition pathways, by identifying the enabling environment and the role of the relevant stakeholders.


This WP will make use of several methodologies used in transition theories:

  • Demographic, Economical, Social, Technological, Ecological and Political (DESTEP) analysis. This expert and literature based methodology combines several important developments in the environment, allowing the assessment of a successful strategy. It will be used for an analysis of the legume transition process. It will result in different scenarios and the expected influence on the transition process.
  • Strategic Niche Management (SNM): this expert-based methodology uses pilot case studies to identify the influence of the sociotechnical environment of an innovation and how it can achieve its objectives. It will result in a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities of the innovations in the European legume value chains for food and feed. The analysis will provide tools to manage the innovations.
  • Reflective Monitoring in Action: this methodology is based on a reflective mechanism in an innovation to improve the learning process. As such it will be used to encourage learning within the context of the legume value chain pilots. It will result in a faster and more effective development of the innovation objectives.

Outreach, dissemination and knowledge/technology transfer

Workpackage leader: Mr. Roger Vickers (PGRO).


WP6 will ensure effective external communication and optimal knowledge transfer of the LegValue results in order to optimise their uptake and exploitation. WP6 will transfer the project outputs to stakeholders and encourage them to use the results to generate outcomes. The specific objectives are to:

  • Promote the project and its activities.
  • Carry out effective scientific dissemination of the results.
  • Engage stakeholders into a two-way dialogue with the consortium.
  • Ensure effective knowledge transfer to key end-users and stakeholders.


WP6 will build on outputs generated in the RTD WPs and will take account of end-users and stakeholders needs and interests to deploy an effective dissemination plan. A database of highly networked industry, academic and professional organisations (“multipliers”) will be created and the organisations targeted using direct and indirect communications to benefit from their leverage effect at the regional and European level. Stakeholders will be invited to participate in specific events and consultations in order to produce relevant results, knowledge and tools for the use of the different end-users of the legume value chain community. Central to the project will be the development of a single legume web-portal for the use of EU farmers, advisors (extension services), input suppliers, collectors, traders, food and animal feed manufacturers and policy makers. The aim is to trigger discussion and exchange of information between the stakeholders and to encourage them to use the project results to generate specific outcomes to improve and increase the current EU legume and grassland production systems. All workshops, conferences and technical meetings will be published onto this website.

Join the LEGVALUE Community

The Leg Value project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727672.

European Union Legume Innovation Network