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«Traditional Food Network to improve the transfer of knowledge for innovation»– is a network of 30 European research institutions, technology transfer agencies and SME associations and covers the value chain of four groups of traditional food products based on grains, fish, vegetables and mushrooms, and fruits. It focuses on the preservation, protection, innovation and further development of traditional foods in Europe and it aims at supporting the small and medium sized producers to preserve the tradition and the authenticity of their products.

The often small-scale producers are nowadays facing the challenges of having to meet many existing European regulations and to acquire new knowledge on improved technological solutions related to their products while at the same time preserving the tradition and the authenticity of their products. TRAFOON will also provide for knowledge and concrete suggestions to enhance the business and marketing aspect of those traditional products to make the producers more competitive or to keep them in the market at all. The needs of these traditional small and medium enterprises (SME) will be detected and collected by the respective branch-specific associations.

The technological, legal or business-related solutions for these ‘hot topics’ will be transferred through training workshops, where specifically trained mediators will be used to communicate these solutions in the language of the respective countries. A multi-lingual online Information Shop containing these solutions and innovations will be created for public access and to reach SMEs which could not participate at one of our workshops. In addition, this Information Shop is a living archive and will be central to the sustainability of TRAFOON also after its official end.

The project is aiming to stimulate the entrepreneurshipamong food researchers, commercial take-up of food R&D results, and entrepreneurial networking as well. This initiative will have the positive impact on communication between SMEs and research institutions, consumer satisfaction due to improved traditional food supply, and entrepreneurship and competitiveness of SMEs in traditional foods. A Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for traditional foods will be created and communicated to policy decision makers. A European knowledge transfer network will be established with the focus on the mentioned food sectors, linking researchers, mediators, SME associations and single SMEs.

TRAFOON can offer targeted, need-based services to strengthen the SME’s innovative capability, such as training on:

Intellectual property rights

Quality management

European food law, European food law


Safety and environmental performance


Use of labels

Product development strategies and production protocols

Multi-Stakeholder Workshops

In the first year of the TRAFOON project, European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are producing traditional foods and food raw materials were asked for their current needs and their opinion of future challenges.

SMEs were asked for needed innovations of technical improvements in food production and processing, packaging, labelling, certification, marketing and related topics. For the qualitative analysis of this inventory of needs, multi-stakeholder workshops will be performed which are focusing on the named needs of SMEs in the five food categories. Following multi-stakeholder workshops will be performed:

September 02-03 2014, Poland. Workshop on vegetables and mushrooms

September 30 2014, Spain. Workshop on olives

October 01-02 2014, Netherlands. Workshop on grain

September 30 2014, Switzerland. Workshop on sweet fruits

October 07-08 2014, Czech Republic. Workshop on Fish

Based on the inventory of needs, the workshops identify sets of innovations that are needed by traditional food SMEs within the different food categories and design training workshops for SMEs which will be performed in the year 2 and 3 of the TRAFOON project. Further, the multi-stakeholder workshops identify gaps in innovations which will be included into the strategic research and innovation agenda.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613912


Development of a new sustainable, long term solution, complying with IPM standards and the future EU Directive of sustainable use of pesticides, for the pear postharvest sector


Pears rank third among the most important tree fruits grown in the world and fourth among all fruits for which statistics are available. Pears are a highly perishable, seasonal product, they need to be picked up before maturation and should undergo through a postharvest treatment to be commercialised in optimal conditions along the year. During this process pear production can be significantly reduced due to decay, bacterial or fungi diseases. In developed countries, it is estimated that up to 25% of fruit production (516 Million tonnes in the case of pears) can be lost during the postharvest treatments. In order to fight this decay, postharvest sector has in the past counted with fitosanitary remedies like ethoxyquin and thiabendazole.

However, public concerns about food safety, and conservation of the environment, have triggered a change in EU legislation leading to the proposal of a new Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides due to be implemented by 2014 (Directive 2009/128/EC). Thus, the pear postharvest sector is in urgent need of new sustainable and natural antioxidants, bactericides and fungicides as many of the most popular chemical treatments are about to be banned.

RE-PEAR is an Integrated Pest Management approach aiming to provide new, chemicals free, solutions for pear conservation by:

  1. Developing and redaction of standardised Postharvest Management and Control Practices Guidelines unifying criteria to avoid possible unevenness within EU domestic market;
  2. By producing a natural compound formula to act as an edible, degradable coating with natural antioxidant/ preservative and antibiotic properties in direct contact with pears and;
  3. By designing a novel industrial filter with optimised performance able to minimise the presence of fungi spores and bacteria within the pear pallets



FruitVegetablesEUROPE (EUCOFEL)






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