Important legal notice
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Agriculture - Planting the seeds for sustainable farming and forestry
“Towards more efficient and effective economics of food-chain supply”

The problem

Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reflect global trends by reducing market intervention measures and moving towards free-market economics. To benefit from these new developments, farmers need a more proactive outlook in which they acquire greater responsibility for their management decisions. The Union needs to analyse the potential risks and benefits, as well as ways of supporting this transformation, and helping farmers and other market participants meet the challenge.

FoodComm  Improving economic relationships along the food chain


FoodComm will analyse the role of economic relationships and communication in selected European food chains and identify the economic, social and cultural factors that influence coordination within these chains. To accomplish this objective:

  • A theoretical economic relationships framework
    will be constructed
  • Food chain systems in six countries will be reviewed
  • A representative cross-border, multi-commodity survey of farmers, processors and retailers will be conducted
  • Estimates of population parameters will be taken to test and analyse a range of research hypotheses
  • Policy options and priorities for future research
    will be identified

Contribution to policy development:

  • FoodComm will inform policy development in the areas of consumers’ concerns, rural development and the concerns of EU taxpayers.
  • Project modelling will illustrate and help promote understanding of the effects of varying food policy on all sectors of the food chain and rural economies.
  • The broad, multi-disciplinary approach of FoodComm will help develop a less compartmentalised approach to food chain policies and support for rural economies.
  • FoodComm will help to develop more productive and competitive food chains through market-based solutions with concomitantly improved value for taxpayers’ money.

Project deliverables

  • Report: review of food chain systems in six case-study countries – October 2005
  • Annual report – March 2006/2007
  • Report: cross-border surveys – June 2006
  • Report: survey results, including six case-study country sections – September 2006
  • Report: country-by-country survey findings – May 2007
  • Report: evaluation of results and recommendations for policy – October 2007
  • Report: Web-based guide to method of survey and assessment – December 2007
  • Final report – March 2008


  • Project website – September 2005
  • All project reports will be posted on the project website and made available to policy-makers – ongoing
  • Links will be established and maintained with complementary EU-funded projects – ongoing
  • Present findings at workshops and international conferences – as needed
  • Non-technical summaries of progress for the popular and trade press – as needed

Technical information

Project acronym: FoodComm
Project’s official full title: Key factors influencing economic relationships and communication in European food chains
Research priority: 1.1. Modernisation and sustainability of agriculture and forestry, including their multifunctional role in order to ensure the sustainable development and promotion of rural areas
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 006458
Start date: 1 March 2005
Kick off meeting: March 2005
Completion date: March 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Hans-Jorg Lutzeyer,

Prof. Dr. Monika Hartmann (
Name: University of Bonn, Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research
Abbreviated name: AGP UniBonn
Address: Nussallee 21
D-53115 Bonn
Country: Germany
Tel: +49-228-73-35-37
Fax: + 49-228-73-3374


Name: Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe
Abbreviated name: IAMO
Country: Germany

Name: University of Helsinki
Abbreviated name: SIRRT
Country: Finland

Name: Scottish Agricultural College
Abbreviated name: SAC
Country: United Kingdom

Name: The National Food Centre (Teagasc)
Abbreviated name: NFC
Country: Ireland

Name: Institute of Agricultural & Food Economics
Abbreviated name: IAFE
Country: Poland

Name: Government of Aragon
Abbreviated name: CITA
Country: Spain