One of the main tasks the project had to accomplish in the first year of its implementation was to collect between 60-100 innovative initiatives across Europe. The innovative initiatives that we looked for had to illustrate a mutually beneficial cooperation, a fair share for primary producers and preferably high potential for replicability. COCOREADO focused on two types of initiatives: novel and fair food systems (NOFAs) and sustainable public procurement of food (PROCURs) that showed such characteristics.
In total 97 innovative initiatives were gathered, of which 61 NOFAs and 36 PROCURs. In terms of NOFAs, the list of initiatives represented a diversity of regions, urban, rural and peri-urban spaces and economic sectors. It also represented initiatives with various organizational forms such as farmers’ markets, farmers’ shops, box schemes, Community Supported Agriculture, Solidarity Purchasing Groups, pick-your-own schemes, and other forms of short and direct supply chains. We also captured initiatives with and without intermediaries and such driven by farmers, by consumers and by other supply chain actors. The PROCURs initiatives represented very good examples on how better connectivity between consumers/end users and producers can be achieved and how the procurement become an instrument giving chance to farmers to rebalance their position in the supply chain.
Innovative initiatives across Europe gathered by COCOREADO
As a next step, the 61 NOFAs were evaluated by the project partners in terms of whether they strengthen the position of the farmer, improve the connection between consumer and producer and if they have a potential for replicability. As an outcome a shorter list of 35 most inspirational and with high potential for replicability initiatives was prepared. The information on these initiatives is currently used by the project partners to develop Practice abstracts for each of them, which will be published on the project website and on EIP-AGRI portal.
The COCOREADO team would like to thank all the farmers, processors, food producers and other practitioners who were willing to share information with us and to inspire project partners with their innovative ideas! We also appreciate the dedication of our Ambassadors on this task and all along the project!
What is next?
In the coming months up to 15 short-listed novel and fair systems and sustainable public procurements of food will be evaluated for good practices that they feature and their factors for success and bottlenecks will be analysed. We expect very inspiring outcomes that will be transformed into educational materials to inspire farmers, food producers, consumers and other end-users all across Europe.
Svetla Stoeva – INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIOLOGY AT BAS (IPS-BAS)