July 2022

Impressions from our workshop in Egypt



		

Our 4-day workshop at the Alexandria University in Egypt focused on Circular Economy, Technology Integration and Management, Smart Agriculture, and market conditions in citrus (by-)products supply chains. In stimulating conversations with stakeholders, academics, industry representatives as well as public bodies, we discussed barriers in the citrus sector, how to close loops in the citrus (by-)products supply chain, how to create value from waste, and how technologies can support circular value creation.

 

In addition, our group had the chance to conduct field trips to get a better understanding of the production processes and requirements on-site. The visited factories included a dehydration company, a juice producer, and an organic juice producer who manages all stages of the citrus supply chain from farm to export.

 

Here are some insights:

 

    • tight rules and quality standards leads to rejections of products, e.g. permissible amount of pesticide residues and quality of irrigation water

 

    • awareness about targeting the top of the waste management hierarchy for orange by-products needs to be raised in order to use the by-products in other value added industries (e.g. medicines, cosmetics etc.)

 

    • the effects of global warming on yield are drastic

 

    • there is a lot of land with limited water resources where yield can still be improved by applying suitable and sustainable agricultural technologies

 

    • the citrus sector struggles with post-harvest wastes, which account for 20-50%

 

    • collaboration (e.g. by means of vertical and horinzontal integration) is key in order to create value out of waste

 

    • the Mediterranean has a geographically beneficial strategic position and high potential to serve the international citrus marketĀ  with high-value products

 

    • technology solutions (smart agriculture) will help to manage soil variabilities, increase yield and quality of citrus fruits as well as contribute to a circular citrus supply chain in the Mediterranean

 

This is just a selection of aspects that we will address in the ImPUlSe project. We have received a lot of impressions, generated many ideas, and are already looking forward to the next workshop in Turkey.

 

Check out the Results section if you would like to know how we are going to use these insights to foster biological and technological circularity in Mediterranean citrus supply chains.