Since the era of huge corporate farming, SMFs (small and medium farms) have become a growing development in alternative farming methods. Their efforts need support, particularly when it comes to the exchanging of information. Important developments need to be shared and disseminated in order to maximise their potential for all SMFs.
INFOOD NETWORK aims at facilitating the participation of SMFs in EU research and increasing their opportunities for cooperation and innovation. This is especially true with regard to the technologies and methods necessary for improving the management of environmental, safety and traceability aspects related to food.
FARMERS KNOW BEST
The INFOOD NETWORK project has a number of objectives. They include the creation of a system for sharing information and solutions on environmental and safety issues, among European agricultural SMEs. The traceability of agricultural products as an integration solution of international interest is also being assessed. New research projects are being identified. The farmers' capacity to manage is being developed, and this is enlarging and consolidating the INFOOD network across Europe. The environmental aspects and related safety issues arising from the development of agriculture in Europe pose problems that need to be solved mainly at governance level. Collaboration between farmers, their associations and staff can boost the development and adoption of new technologies, and give a bottom-up input with regards to policy development and new regulations.
The added value of the INFOOD NETWORK is characterised by the sharing of know-how among SMFs. This is achieved by jointly tackling the environmental, safety and food traceability issues that concern European farms. Exchanging best practice and jointly developing a unified European management system constitutes an important step towards improving the effectiveness of farmers' production methods.
COPING WITH THE AGRICULTURAL CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY
The information system and the flow of information within INFOOD NETWORK offer a more cost-effective environmental and safety support structure. Although both simple and accessible, it is also tailor-made and specific to the needs of SMFs. In order to function at the optimum level, it requires time and cost-efficient solutions to be properly implemented. The support offered is 'hands on' rather than just 'self-help' information. Well-qualified personnel are being used, with experience relevant to SMEs and agriculture. INFOOD is being carefully coordinated at regional level through partnerships with local associations. Last but not least, it is promoting information on available technological solutions, research opportunities and funding possibilities.
The INFOOD network also aims to have an impact on policymakers'
decisions, notably on questions such as:
'What barriers have to be overcome?', 'Which are the farmers' needs?' and 'What opportunities are there?'
Rather than simply conducting its research within the ivory towers of academia, INFOOD strives to include farmers in its studies, along with their invaluable practical experience. This ensures a successful outcome for the project, because if there is one truth in agriculture, it has to be that farmers know best.
List of Partners
- Unione Regionale delle Camere di Commercio CCIIAA del Veneto (Italy)
- Sogesca (Italy)
- Federazione regionale degli agricoltori dell'Emilia Romagna - Confagricoltura Emilia Romagna (Italy)
- Azienda Agricola Bubani Giuseppe (Italy)
- Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (Hungary)
- Pilze-Nagi (Hungary)
- Anysoft (Romania)
- Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos (Spain)
- Cluj Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Romania)
- INFOOD NETWORK
- Full title:
- Sharing information on food related environmental, safety and traceability aspects among European small-medium farms
- Contract n°:
- Project co-ordinator:
- Filippo Mazzariol,
Unione Regionale delle Camere di Commercio CCIIAA del Veneto
- EC Scientific Officer:
- Alessio Vassarotti,
- EU contribution:
- € 374,935