I4Food, an EU-funded project, aims to develop and improve regional policies for competitive and sustainable regional food industries, with a particular focus on SMEs. By the end 2014, the project is expected to deliver exchanges of experience between 6 European regions, transferability studies and policy recommendations.
The I4Food project (Interregional Cooperation for Competitive and Sustainable Regional Food Industries) has grown out from recent changes in the European food producing industry. It was inspired by the recommendations of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry.
Nowadays, food companies need to participate in the global market while reinforcing socio-economic cohesion at European level. In this context, the European food industry has to be more innovative, competitive and sustainable. By exploiting safe, healthy and regional food products, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) may target new markets, attract investments and skilled workforce into their regions, and simultaneously preserve their environmental values.
I4Food regions are all affected by these challenges. To respond properly to the challenges, they have to develop relevant strategies. The same sub-sectors can be found in the I4Food partner regions, namely meat, fish, processed fruit and vegetables, oil and fats, dairy products, grain processing and beverages. Through the I4Food project, the partner regions intend to exchange good policy practices and assess their transferability.
The project is supported by the European Union under the INTERREG IV C programme. It will run until the end 2014.