Sustainable food chains through public policies: the cases of the EU quality policy and of public sector food procurement
Competition title: Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
Funding: Horizon 2020
Start date: 01. 03. 2016.
End date: 28. 02. 2021.
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:
1. 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.
2. Develop and deliver effective policies for improving the overall sustainability of agriculture and capacity for balanced nutrition.
3. Demonstrate and validate how to stimulate the development of new quality markets and local food chains through pilot initiatives and innovative actions.
4. 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.
Marina Tomić Maksan, PhD
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture