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Dawn of a new era for European Short Food Supply Chains

An ambitious initiative is taking its first steps towards setting up a European network on Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC), where food is conceived as a place for trust, where producers and society must meet for the economy of the future.

The Short Supply Chain Knowledge and Innovation Network, SKIN, held its second meeting on 10 and 11 April in Galway. This part of Ireland will be next year’s European Region of Gastronomy, in recognition of its culinary heritage, quality of local food and cultural traditions. It was in this perfect setting that the second technical meeting took place. Its aim was to present the project’s preliminary results and set out a joint strategy and work plan to engage with European stakeholders in the short food supply chain network. Attending the meeting were several Irish stakeholders from the dairy, horticulture, cereals, fresh meat and drinks sectors. They stressed how closer ties between citizens and primary producers would deliver economic and social benefits for farms and rural communities. Examples included product diversification, initiatives to involve local communities in daily farming activities, and community-based projects for producing food and drink from locally sourced ingredients. Also hitting the agenda were issues relating to social capital, gender and the comeback of organic cow milk and cheese making. The core philosophy is to reconnect the two ends of the food supply chain, with citizens and producers coming together and sharing values on food. Key to achieving the SKIN objectives is the need to engage with stakeholders and promote grassroots innovation in SFSCs. More specifically, we are setting out to identify 100 European good practices, organise 6 thematic challenges to generate 30 ideas for innovation, and provide coaching for 10 new demand-driven projects. Ultimately, SKIN seeks to foster new models where food producers and citizens come closer together based on trust and shared values on food.


food, agriculture, fishing