Information & Links

This section provides useful information on various initiatives, innovations, good practices and legislation.

Two scientific articles for reading

Update of Meat Standards Australia and the cuts based grading scheme for beef and sheepmeat. This article describes new challenges for the beef and sheep industries due to changing markets and evolving consumer demand. In response, the industry has been investing in innovations to deliver new products and management systems to consumers. One such innovation is the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) system. This system is a Total Quality Management System, aimed at delivering an eating quality guarantee to consumers, and through this adding value to the entire supply chain. To date, the MSA system for beef has proved to be effective in predicting beef palatability not only in Australia but also in many other countries (France, Poland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Japan, South Korea, New-Zealand, the USA and South Africa).

The variability of the eating quality of beef can be reduced by predicting consumer satisfaction. The review describes how an MSA-like
grading scheme can be used to predict beef eating quality and hence underpin commercial brands or labels in a number of European countries. In addition, such an eating quality guarantee system may allow the implementation of an
MSA genetic index to improve eating quality through genetics as well as through management. Finally, the system is likely to generate economic benefits to be shared along the beef supply chain from farmers to retailers, as
consumers are willing to pay more for a better quality product.

Producing, trading or distributing beef

If you are interested in producing, trading and distributing beef, the presentations below will expand your knowledge in this area.

Copa-Codeca: The united voice of farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union.

This joint presentation from COPA: Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations and CODECA: General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union  was delivered during 5th Beef Forum in Warsaw and describes challenges, priorities, funding and development in the beef sector.

Towards a European beef quality model ?

The presentation by Jean-François Hocquette  from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) discuss Beef Sustainability and Beef Quality Grading System, and also describes strategies between environmental value and economic efficiency.

Current EU projects on short food supply chains

SMARTCHAIN (Smart Solutions in Short Food Supply Chains)  is a project  with the central objective to foster and accelerate the shift towards collaborative short food supply chains and, through concrete actions and recommendations, to introduce new robust business models and innovative practical solutions that enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the European agri-food system.

Food 4 Growth is a project to build up and experiment an innovative training model, easily transferable to Vet national systems addressed to technical profiles of the food sector.

ESCAPE (Enhancing Sales Capacity for Agrifood Products in Europe) is a project to develop a training programme for food technology students motivated in working in the business area of the F&D sector, based on the industry’s needs and to address F&D industry’s need for effective international salespeople with skills in food technology.

Erasmus Food Lab is organization aiming to promote and raise awareness about sustainable and healthy food. It is an experimental playground for research, teaching and marketing related to plant-based foods.

ASKFOOD (Alliance for Skills and Knowledge to Widen Food Sector-related Open Innovation, Optimization and Development) project aims to develop cross-industry knowledge platforms to support innovative multi-actor food clusters in EU.

EIP-AGRI Brochure – Innovation in short food supply chains

Short food supply chains have the potential to connect producers and consumers, and increase added value for farmers in the food chain. Improving collaboration between farmers, farm cooperatives, food processors, consumers and others involved in short food supply chains can boost this potential and enhance mutual benefits. It can enable the people involved to develop new products and processes to add value and to improve the range of products available to consumers. It can also help to make logistics and distribution more efficient, and it can strengthen food chains and open up new markets.

This brochure highlights a number of Operational Groups and other innovative projects that illustrate successful ways of bringing innovation and collaboration to short food chains, for more impact.

“Future farmers in the spotlight”: case studies on inspiring farming initiatives

Dutch film-maker and farmer-to-be Joris van der Kamp travelled across the EU with his camera to capture the farming projects of inspiring personalities. Thirteen videos, from Denmark to Greece, to understand the ups and downs of starting a farm.

Useful links on food information

Food information to consumers – Since December 2016, EU food entrepreneurs have the obligation to provide an updated list of nutrition information to the consumers. Find out all the mandatory information to showcase on your packaging in this infographics.

Dates of consumption – A comprehensive information on the expiry date of your products can reinforce the reliability of your products and even prevent food waste in some instances. This memo can provide you with a clear understanding of the different terms used.

Sustainable packaging

Packaging always requires a bit of thinking when launching a food business. The demand of consumers for eco-friendly packaging as well as the will of EU policy-makers to eradicate single-use plastics is leading to a new paradigm in which biodegradable and edible materials are a must-have. More information here.

Tips and tricks on content marketing

Ever wondered how to launch a product successfully and optimise its visibility on a small budget? Social media can surely help, just like step-by-step planning and the involvement of networks around you do. From blog posts to recipes posted on your website, this article describes why and how content marketing could help your start-up growing.

Labelling animal welfare: a new initiative in France

Several sectorial associations, together with a major seller, have created a new label on animal welfare. Currently, the only compulsory labelling existing at EU level is for table eggs. This label aims at extending the coverage of such a labelling to all types of animal products. It follows the creation of similar private labels which have developed their charter over the last years.

More information – in French

Information on Nutrition and Health Claims

Nutrition and health claims and regulations by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
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The Food and Drink Association (FDA) in the UK

The FDA represents the food and drink industry in the UK. Its website has a vast array of useful information.
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The balance small business

This website is a good source for all-things-small-business that is relevant to supporting start-ups. A more specific piece of information is on marketing using online content:

Food and Beverage Content Marketing Case Studies
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Short Supply Chain Knowledge and Innovation Network

Short supply chain knowledge and innovation network is an EU project found by the H2020.
SKIN creates a European network of good practices in the short food supply chain domain, connected to overcome knowledge fragmentation and to support bottom-up innovation initiatives.
Read More

Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain

Information on legislation regarding unfair trading practices in the food supply chain.

Brexit Monitor: The Impact of Brexit on the AgriFood Industry

A concise discussion of the impact of Brexit on the agri-food industry by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Short food supply chains and local food systems in the EU

The current EU rural development policy 2014-2020 puts more emphasis than before on short food supply chains and defines them precisely for the first time. Producers wishing to involve themselves in local food systems can benefit from several measures co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
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EIP-AGRI Workshop: Innovation in the supply chain: creating value together

The EIP-AGRI workshop ‘Innovation in the supply chain: creating value together’ took place on 6-7 February 2018 in Lyon, France. It was organised in cooperation with the French National Rural Network, led by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food, General Commission for Territorial Equality.
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Final Reports from the workshop

Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC)

Joint initative representing 12 industry associations across the agri-food chain.

Link to AFCC

Agricultural Markets Task Force

Improving Market outcomes: Enhancing the Position of Farmers in the Supply Chain (Report of the Agricultural Markets Task Force, Brussels, November 2016).
Read More

Read this article about short supply chain in food industry in EU markets:

Is the Short Food Supply Chain an Efficient Solution for Sustainability in the Food Market?

How can food entrepreneurs fight food waste?

The farmers organisation Copa-Cogeca has launched an online platform, “GrowNoThrown”, on which farmers, associations and agri-cooperatives can share good practices to avoid food waste. Together with a publication containing six ways to avoid the issue in the future, an interactive map allows users to share their own success story with others. A good opportunity to get some inspiration and exchange tips and tricks with other entrepreneurs!.

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