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Food Quality and Safety in Europe


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The EU took the initiative and launched a new Specific Support Action, which analyses problems such as the BSE crisis and establishes how existing research from the EU’s €100 million investment in eight major traceability projects relates to the analysis.

The PETER (Promoting European Traceability Excellence & Research) project has brought together the coordinators of these eight major FP5 and FP6 projects. They are able to offer the EU and other major parties information regarding existing hazard analysis and traceability research projects, as well as results. According to many experts, these results are fragmented, duplicated or sometimes incoherent.


PETER offers governments, producers and consumers scientifically-based information for advancing the debate on hazard analysis, traceability and incident management. It brings prominence to previous and current work whilst offering a greatly needed platform for discussion and debate. Through targeted stakeholder activities, relating to the involvement of hundreds of projects and partners, and by a planned level of dissemination of the information, there are high expectations for the success of the project.

Eight research groups from five EU countries are collaborating on this project. For them, two important issues determined the area of focus. Firstly, although the Member States are required to adhere to EC Food Law Regulation 178/02, PETER has already discovered that implementation, especially for SMEs, has been problematic due to the impractical nature of the regulation. Secondly, the team believes that the key to its success is in carrying out of a rigorous analysis of existing problems and an all-inclusive review into the current research situation within the area of traceability, to see how they align.


PETER comes from the EU’s 5th & 6th Framework Programmes, created to consolidate and disseminate combined intra- European expertise to key players involved in the manufacture and transportation of food products. PETER offers SMEs the know-how for gaining greater access to and success in the global market economy. Moreover, an international forum is being established where major industry players can pool their resources in an environment that is conducive to further learning and understanding. This exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas, within the area of traceability, is proving fruitful for everyone involved, thus increasing consumer confidence, and in turn stimulating future market conditions.

The first part of this two-year project was a three-day conference which reported back on its meta-programme of research. The conference looked at the needs of consumers and SMEs so that they can be taken into account as PETER progresses through its stages of research. The dissemination of the project’s findings is supported by the website, the creation of an e-brochure, and the setting up of workshops and conferences around the world.

List of Partners

  • Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Gers (France)
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) (France)
  • AIM UK (UK)
  • Central Science Laboratory (UK)
  • Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques (Belgium)
  • University of Parma (Italy)
  • Danish Institute for Fisheries Research (Denmark)
  • Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (France)
Full title:
Promoting European traceability excellence & research
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Michel Debord,
Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Gers
EC Scientific Officer:
Judit Krommer,
EU contribution:
€ 679,635
Specific Support Action

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top