TOPIC: RUR-05-2020 – Connecting consumers and producers in innovative agri-food supply chains
Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) hold promising potential for sustainable development in agriculture, encouraging cooperation among farmers, creating better relations between farmers and customers and reducing transport costs and CO2 emissions.
The EU-funded agroBRIDGES project will empower farmers with practical knowledge and tools to set up new business and marketing models based on SFSCs with a focus on reducing intermediaries and linking producers with consumers. To this end, it will follow an integrated methodology to establish regional multi-actor structures for demand-driven innovation, and deliver a combination of communication materials, training programmes, events and digital tools in the agroBRIDGES toolbox.
The project will directly involve over 400 people, delivering practical support to producers, consumers, contracting authorities, distributors and scientists.
agroBRIDGES aims to build bridges between producers and consumers, rebalancing farmers market position by empowering them with knowledge about new business and marketing models. The proposal will mobilise local farmers through Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs), focussing on decreasing intermediaries and their margin. Precisely, agroBRIDGES will follow a knowledge-based, holistic, systemic approach built on two pillars:
A multi-actor framework pursuing demand-driven innovation
A combination of communication materials, training programs, events organisation and IT tools gathered in the agroBRIDGES Toolbox as the ultimate instrument that will provide practical support to producers, consumers, contracting authorities, distributors, academia, etc, improving farmers position in the value chain.
Both regional and pan-European approaches will be considered along with the project, where 12 Beacon regions will be involved in the creation of this multi-actor framework, directly involving ca. 400 people in information collection, knowledge exchange, co-creation, co-development and validation of project outputs. Full EU roll-out, replication and training will be conducted, supported by a strong dissemination campaign and coordination with other EU projects and initiatives as SCAR-AKIS and EIP AGRI through a clustering plan.
Main impact in the short term will be ca. 150 persons trained on topics related to food procurement and how to mobilise innovative agri-food supply chains and support local producers, while in the medium-, long-term it is expected a 5-8% increase of farms totally or partially involved in direct sales to consumers and an increase in farmers income for the value of the output ca. 35% average thanks the developed new SFSCs models. This way, agroBRIDGES will make an ambitious contribution to the Common Agricultural Policy unlocking the full potential of Europe’s inner wealth by placing producers as a cornerstone for boosting European agri-food sector.
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