The entry of 10 accession countries to the European Union in May 2004 mean that they have to be able to integrate into EU food standards and the European research community as a whole. The Sixth Framework Programme is focusing on the quality and safety of food throughout the supply chain from farm to fork under one of its seven thematic research priorities.
The safety of meat has been a particular concern in Europe in recent years - in the candidate countries, the main meat products are poultry and pork. So, the EU has set up a two-year Specific Support Action to survey the research landscape in the candidate countries for monitoring and promoting good quality meat production: QUALITYMEAT. It aims to facilitate about 12 new research projects in the safety of poultry and pig meat sector, as regards these countries, and will focus on topics such as disease detection, animal nutrition and breeding.
GENERATING INTEREST IN RESEARCH
The partners in QUALITYMEAT came from the accession countries and the Member States. Initially, they will create a database of those research centres and their qualified staff in the candidate countries who are working in the field of animal health and poultry and pork production. This screening exercise will include profiles of the centres, contact details and specialisations, project ideas and training requirements. It aims to cover about 200 researchers, thereby making their skills available to the food quality and safety projects in FP6.
Data collection will be a paper exercise, although QUALITYMEAT will also use electronic media. There will be a virtual partner search tool based on the data gathered in the survey. The goal here is to generate about 80 partner searches leading to 12 project ideas focusing on quality and safety in the complete food chain, and traceability to increase consumer confidence in meat products. These measures should increase the participation of accession countries in this part of FP6 by about 15%.
The partners will then organise a series of Info Days in candidate countries, in conjunction with conferences on food quality and safety. These will help to promote candidate country research potential in this field. They will consider such topics as the total food chain, traceability along the production chain, animal welfare, methods of analysis, detection and control, and the role of animal feed, all contributing to safer and healthier food production.
The final stage will be an international brokerage event on meat safety. This will be an occasion for researchers and industry to meet, exchange project ideas, and for the promotion of the objectives of QUALITYMEAT. The event will present selected research centres, and reveal important results on the safety of poultry and pig meat from previous research funded under past EU Framework Programmes.
SPREADING THE WORD
A dedicated web portal, set up at the start of the project, will be the major platform for promotional activities in QUALITYMEAT. It will contain information on the aims of the project, its partners and the services they offer to potential participants, access to the partner search mechanism, plus general information on the EU's food safety work, with links to national and transnational networks. It also has a private section where partners can communicate with each other.
These initiatives will help to promote best practice in the poultry and pork sector and cooperation between Member States and institutes from the accession countries. For future reference, the mechanisms it sets up may be transferred to other sectors within the food industry.
List of Partners
- Instytut Podstawowych Problemow Techniki Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Poland)
- National Veterinary Research Institute (Poland)
- Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation (Hungary)
- Centuria RIT (Italy)
- Bureau for International Research and Technology Cooperation (Austria)
- EUROQUALITY (France)
- Applied Research and Communications Fund (Bulgaria)
- BIC Bratislava, spol. s.r.o. (Slovakia)
- RTD Talos (Cyprus)
- Agenzia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea (Italy)
- Mondo Consulting & Training (Romania)
- Full title:
- Survey on the research landscape in the associated candidate countries for monitoring and promoting good quality meat production - the whole food-chain from farm to fork of poultry and pork meat
- Contract n°:
- Project co-ordinator:
- Anna Pytko,
Instytut Podstawowych Problemow Techniki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
- EC Scientific Officer:
- Laurence Moreau,
- EU contribution:
- € 192,819
- Specific Support Action