Strength2Food is a 5-year EU-funded project that started in March 2016.
Recently in the European Union, both EU quality policy and Public Sector Food Procurement have witnessed recent reforms. These changes focus on improving and promoting schemes that protect quality logos (names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs) and take into account environmental, social and innovation-based criteria when awarding the public sector contracts to procurers and suppliers.
However, further research is needed:
- on how quality logos can be harnessed further to positively affect rural development, particularly in disadvantaged areas.
- to evaluate how the reforms are being applied in practice, how they can be improved and how to make them more effective in the future.
This project will provide the EU and its Member States with evidence-based recommendations. These recommendations will be implemented and verified through innovative pilot actions.
Strength2Food will identify and implement strategies for upscaling: creating new and expanding existing markets for quality food products and fostering the development of an ‘economy of quality’.
Specifically, Strength2Food will:
- Aid policy makers and other relevant stakeholders in improving the effectiveness of current policies on food quality designations and public sector food procurement to enhance their sustainability and promotion of healthy and nutritious diets.
- Develop and deliver effective policies for improving the overall sustainability of agriculture and capacity for balanced nutrition.
- Demonstrate and validate how to stimulate the development of new quality markets and local food chains through pilot initiatives and innovative actions.
- Maximise the impact of the project’s activities and achievements through effective knowledge exchange and communication with a wide range of relevant stakeholders on up-to-date sustainable practices.
For more information consult the project website.
Role of AREPO
AREPO has been invited to participate in the project as an expert member of the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB).
The SAB is an external high-level body of experts, composed of both research and industry representatives, whose role is to participate in the discussion and help guide the strategic direction of the project.
Specifically, the SAB will:
- Advise the project on changes in societal, policy and consumer priorities that may impact on the project’s objectives and expected impacts;
- Act as a sounding board regarding how the impact of the project can be maximised and the implementation of ethical matters;
- Propose changes to the direction of the project in line with stakeholder and end‐user priorities for maximising the exploitation and benefits of the project;
- Review progress of the project annually;
- Support the dissemination of the project’s results in their respective institutions and organisations.