25 Nov

One year after the kick-off meeting, the EU-financed SMARTCHAIN project is ready for the next phase

Horizon 2020 is an EU financing program coupling research and innovation to secure Europe’s global competitiveness. It funds, amongst many other projects and initiatives, the SMARTCHAIN project that deals with short food supply chains. The project comprises 43 participants from 11 EU countries and will showcase technological, regulatory, social, economic and environmental solutions for 18 case studies of short supply chains. These are supposed to serve as blueprints for other short food supply chains and as a basis for the development of a best practice guide. Now that the case studies have been finalized, questionnaires have been developed and preparatory information has been collected, the ‘hot phase’ of the project has begun.

What is it the SMARTCHAIN project about and why does it matter?

Although big multinational companies are filling up most food shelves in Europe, statistics show that small and medium-sized suppliers still play an important role in the food sector. Their difficulties in standing their ground next to global players are as diverse as their product ranges. Generally, ‘survival chances’ for small and medium-sized suppliers tend to be higher in shorter supply chains with lesser dependencies. In view of this, the SMARTCHAIN project aims at fostering short food supply chains. Through concrete actions and recommendations, it will introduce new robust business models and innovative practical solutions that allow short food supply chains to be realized at a larger scale in an economically feasible, sustainable and environment-friendly way.

What is the definition of a short supply chain?

According to the 1305/2013/EU regulation, a short supply chain involves a limited number of economic operators, committed to co-operation, local economic development, and close geographical and social relations between producers, processors and consumers.

What is Organic Services’ role within the SMARTCHAIN project?

With our expertise in integrity solutions in the field of certification and accreditation, we will, amongst other things, suggest concrete tools and recommendations how actors of short supply chains can keep their quality and brand promises. We are involved in two out of ten work packages: “Technological and non-technological innovations” and “Business and policy recommendations”.

When can results be expected?

The project started in September 2018 and is planned for three years, so results can be expected in September 2021.

 

More information can be found on the project's website and on the project flyer.

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