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Paris, 4 July

Short food supply chains (SFSC) are a means for both producers and consumers to gain better positions in the value chain, improving trust, transparency and food quality and safety.

The EU-funded EU4Advice project, together with its twin project COREnet, is working to strengthen advisory services for all actors involved in short supply chains in order to help them make their practices more economic, social and environmentally sustainable; to this end, both projects are already setting up a European network of short supply chain advisors covering all European countries with over 1000 advisors identified so far.

Based on this general idea and with the aim of working on the keys aspects to the creation of an advisory ecosystem across the EU, Innogestiona Ambiental, as the coordinating entity of EU4Advice, co-organised with AMPED an international symposium at the 7th “ISEKI-Food” Conference held in Paris from 4 to 7 July.

During the session, the roadmap towards the implementation of these two projects was presented: from the H2020 SMARTCHAIN project (seed of EU4Advice) and H2020 SKIN (origin of COREnet). Important references, reports and collaboration dynamics between entities specialised in short supply chains throughout the European Union where shared during the session.

EU4Advice + COREnet

The two projects are working to identify SFSC advisors and integrate them into one-olny network, while researching in different areas such as policy, socio-economic barriers and opportunities or education, to nurture the short supply chain ecosystem and move towards a real alternative to conventional chains.

Another backbone of these projects is the integration of short chain-related advisory services, tools and content into national agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS), in order to improve governance within and between European AKIS. The international workshop in Paris allowed participants to learn more about the latest approach of AKIS and the role they are expected to play in the implementation of more sustainable systems that connect knowledge and research with farming practices for healthy and fair food production.

Finally, and as an element that also raised the interest of the workshop participants, EU4Advice is launching 4 Living Labs (in Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Hungary) where innovative methodologies, contents and new governance models will be tested on the ground, in which different actors, such as advisors, researchers, policy makers, farmers and consumers, will collaborate and participate.

Through this symposium, participants have discovered first-hand different strategies and measures taken to accelerate the implementation of short food supply chains at regional, inter-regional and European level, focusing on the importance of qualified advice as a catalyst.

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