Horizon2020 project CO-FRESH – Co-creating sustainable and competitive fruits and vegetables’ value chains in Europe

CO-FRESH is an innovation action project funded by the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon2020, with the aim to promote more sustainable and efficient agri-food value chains through concrete actions and approaches. The project, with a duration of 42 months (starting on the 1st October 2020) and a total budget of 7.5 Million Euros, brings together key actors from pilot agri-food value chains; actors’ associations (farmers, food producers, cooperatives, consumers); experts for technological (including digital) and non-technological (including social, organizational, and institutional) solutions; as well as experts in environmental and social science, economic sustainability, and in consumer acceptance.

Starting from the state of the art in technological and non-technological approaches as well as current best practices and key success factors analysed in innovative value chains, CO-FRESH proposes to develop techniques, tools and insights for the re-design of agri-food value chains. Through collaborative and systemic approaches, the tools and formats will be applied in 7 pilot cases representing diverse fruit and vegetables agri-food value chains (including protein crops for food and feed) across Europe. CO-FRESH will use the Intervention Research approach, a research method examining the effects of an intervention on an outcome of interest, to study models of collective innovation action within and across organisations.

The main objective of CO-FRESH is to (re)design and pilot innovative systemic approaches to agri-food value chains to scale up this innovation at European level. These innovative approaches will improve economic, social and environmental performance as well as efficiency of these value chains, through smart integration of technological, social, organisational, managerial and institutional innovations; all of which serve to make them more sustainable.

The CO-FRESH consortium, led by CNTA – Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria (Spain), includes a total of 26 official partners from 10 European countries: the University of Hohenheim (Germany), Tecnoalimenti SCPA (Italy), Ghent University (Belgium), Wageningen University (the Netherlands), University of Bologna (Italy), Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Poland), Actalia Association (France), Centre de Recerca en Economia I Desenvolupament Agroalimentari-UPC-IRTA (Spain), Le Terre di Zoe (Italy), Florette Iberica SLU (Spain), Stichting Food Valley (the Netherlands), Chambre Regionale D’Agriculture des Pays de la Loire (France), Ekoowoc (Poland), Pilze-Nagy Kereskedelmi es Szolgaltato KFT (Hungary), COEXPHAL- Asociacion de Organizaciones de Productores de Frutas y Hortalizas de Almería (Spain), Confederazione Generale dell Agricoltura Italiana (Italy), FruitVegetablesEUROPE (Belgium). Kislepteku Termekeloallitok Es Szolgaltatok Orszagos Erdekkepviseletenek Egyesulete (Hungary), Communaute Europeenne des Cooperatives de Consommateurs (Belgium), Cooperatives Europe asbl (Belgium), Bieconomy Cluster (Slovakia), Okologiai Mezogazdasagi Kutatointezet Kozhasznu Nonprofit KFT (Hungary), Enco SRL (Italy), Future Intelligence Erevna Tilepkinoniakon ke Pliroforiakon Systimaton EPE (Greece) and Innogestiona Ambiental (Spain).

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