Innovative technological, organisational and social solutions for FAIRer dairy and fruit and vegetable value CHAINs

01 November 2020 → 31 October 2024
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Food microbiology
    • Food packaging, preservation and safety
    • Food technology
Food packaging business model Aseptic filling
Other information
Project description

FAIRCHAIN addresses the growing need for a significant transformation of current food systems by developing competitive intermediate food chain alternatives adapted to small and mid-sized actors. FAIRCHAIN specifically aims to: -Foster the emergence of innovative intermediate food value chains that support the scaling-up of small and mid-sized actors facing unsustainable conventional dominant agri-food system. This requires to specific technological, organisational and social innovations as well as regulatory and policy adaptations to widely deliver food in a fair and sustainable way. -Inspire and encourage larger actors to down-scale conventional food value chains and better address the growing need of consumers to consume local high quality and safe products. The emergence of intermediate food value chains should put pressure on dominant actors, forcing them to align with best practices in terms of offering opportunities to local suppliers and ensuring an equitable distribution of costs and benefits. The main goal of FAIRCHAIN is to test, pilot and demonstrate recently developed technological, organisational and social innovations, realising a shift up to TRL7 and enabling small and mid-sized actors to scale-up and expand the production of affordable nutritious food in competitive intermediate food value chains. FAIRCHAIN will address the dairy and fruit&vegetable sectors, which hold a strategic economic position in Europe. Both are prone to integrate a large variety of innovations, correspond to an increasing consumer demand for nutritious and healthy food and need to meet the challenge of sustainably delivering perishable commodities to consumers. FAIRCHAIN will consider the entire value chain. More focus is given to postharvest steps rather than the production step in itself because the power imbalances created in market relationships are mainly attributed to the increasing concentration in the processing and retail sectors in conventional food supply chains.

Role of Ghent University
The Research unit VEG-i-TEC of Prof. Sampers is involved in: Workpackage 2 (Ghent University is workpackage leader): Technological innovations: processing techniques and ICT The focus is on gaining knowledge on hygienic design; cleaning & disinfecting (the possible use of green disinfectants); aseptic processing; sustainable food packaging for small/mid-sized farmers. Workpackage 3: Case studies implementation in real conditions, of which one case study is in the lead of Ghent University. The research group Agro-food Marketing and Chain Management of Prof. Gellynck is involved in: Workpackage 4: Integration of technological, organizational and social innovations into business models Workpackage 5: Sustainable assessment of a new value chain, the performance of benchmark and KPI assessment Workpackage 6: Development of business, policy and marketing recommendations to ensure replicability and uptake of the FAIRCHAIN innovative agri-food value chains. Both research groups are also involved in training, dissemination, …