1. Final Report Summary - EUROMEDCITRUSNET (Safe and High Quality Supply Chains and Networks for the Citrus Industry between Mediterranean Partner Countries and Europe)
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Abstract: The citrus industry's importance to the Mediterranean is clear, its countries being among the world's top producers and Europe one of the largest consumers. Increased demand in recent years has been fuelled by the promotion of fruit for a well balanced diet and consumer awareness of citrus fruit benefits. The main aim of the EUROMEDCITRUSNET project was to promote the improvement in citrus safety and quality at all stages of the supply chain through co-operation both internationally and between research organisations and commercial operators including SMEs, and to create a network of horizontal research interest, especially for the Mediterranean region.
As a result the EUROMEDCITRUSNET project set up a Mediterranean networking initiative to stimulate international cooperation and support policy development, as well as integrate current research. The project maintained a well-balanced, multi-disciplinary and international consortium with complimentary expertise to fulfil the project's objectives.
All food sectors are undergoing change to incorporate aspects of better food safety. The citrus fruit sector is no exception. The citrus sector occupies an important position in all economies of those countries bordering the Mediterranean. Therefore the consortium included several third party countries able to contribute valuable insight, including: Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
As a result of the achievements of EUROMEDCITRUSNET it is hoped to have the following long-term socio-economic impact:
- It will increase SME participation in research, providing them access to information on training and technology.
- It will enable industry to more easily apply the results of research to improve fruit safety and quality.
- It will lead to the market being supplied with higher quality citrus fruits with increased safety.
- It will foster exchange of information on topics such as water management or the creation of trees that can better resist disease or withstand harsher climates.