Citrus fruits have long been prized for their flavour and nutritional benefits. Served as a garnish, used in tarts, drunk as juices or eaten raw, citrus fruits are one of the most popular fruits in the world - and Mediterranean countries are among the world's top producers.
Scientists and industry members need to collaborate to maximise the benefits reaped from research on fruit. Exploitation of the findings can improve health and bring economic benefits to the Mediterranean region. By sharing information between researchers and producers in the Mediterranean, the needs of the citrus industry can provide direction for future studies, and the results can be more effectively implemented.
CITRUS: THE JUICY FRUIT
All food sectors are undergoing changes to incorporate aspects of improved food safety. The field of citrus production is no exception.
The EUROMEDCITRUSNET project has set up a Mediterranean networking initiative to stimulate international cooperation and support policy development, as well as integrate current research. The project has a well-balanced, multidisciplinary consortium, with complimentary expertise to fulfil the project's objectives. Many Mediterranean citrus companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs have traditionally had little involvement in setting research agendas and participating in research. One of the primary objectives of the project is to increase SME participation, by facilitating their access to knowledge and providing them with information on training and technology.
SWEET, FRUITY RETURNS
Bringing industry and researchers together can generate both health and economic returns for two reasons. Firstly, it helps researchers to define research programmes that address the needs of industry. Also it enables industry to more easily apply the results of research, so as to improve fruit safety and quality.
Moreover, the additional cross-border exchange of information on topics such as water management or the creation of trees that can better resist disease or withstand harsher climates, can only bring economic benefits to the region. Further economic benefits can be obtained by sharing research that focuses on reduction of fruit spoilage during transport, or addressing fruit juice production issues. Higher quality, increased safety of citrus fruits and the benefits of disseminating knowledge through the EUROMEDCITRUSNET project will certainly contribute to a better quality of life for European citizens.
List of Partners
- Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (Portugal)
- University of Catania (Italy)
- Cukurova University (Turkey)
- National Agricultural Research Foundation (Greece)
- Euroquality (France)
- Asociación de Investigación de la Industria Agroalimentaria (Spain)
- Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (Morocco)
- Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (Tunisia)
- Horticultural Research Institute (Egypt)
- Consorzio Euroagrumi O.P (Italy)
- Station D'Emballage D'Agrumes Kabbage Souss (Morocco)
- Full title:
- Safe and high quality supply chains and networks for the citrus industry between Mediterranean partner countries and Europe
- Contract n°:
- Project co-ordinator:
- Augusto Medina,
Sociedade Portuguesa De Inovacao -
Consultadoria Empresarial e Fomento Da Inovacao
- EC Scientific Officer:
- Isabelle Van Borm,
- EU contribution:
- € 399,840
- Specific Support Action