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European Initiative for a better use of the results of agri-food research

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Food research put to good use

An abandunce of research has shown that the agri-food industry can help improve the food supply worldwide. Solutions are now needed to disseminate this research to stakeholders who can exploit the results.

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Extensive research on pivotal food-related topics is being conducted in the European Union, but often this research is not adequately disseminated or exploited. The EU-funded project 'European initiative for a better use of the results of agri-food research' (AGRIFOODRESULTS) worked on improving the dissemination of valuable research information on this topic. The project investigated pivotal issues related to communicating science, including the study of current practices in disseminating food sector research and the development of innovative communication tools. Specifically, it produced a report on dissemination practices under EU programmes and another report on strategies for communication of scientific results in the food sector. Other important project outcomes include guides for dissemination and for communicating with specific audiences such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field. The project also produced an online directory with contact details of more than 200 information relays relevant to the food sector, in addition to establishing innovative web solutions for disseminating project results. Backed by its findings, the project team underscored the importance of identifying target audiences, selecting the most relevant material to communicate and means of communication. For example, scientists can be reached through peer-reviewed journals and conferences, while policymakers can be enlightened through interviews, press conferences and workshops. Other equally important stakeholders considered include consumers and actors in the food industry. All these outcomes are expected to support the European food sector in overcoming future challenges. The reports and guidelines will help secure the supply of safe, inexpensive food in the context of a growing world population. They will help provide healthy food that meets consumer demand and answers public health concerns, in addition to reducing environmental impacts and increasing the sector's competitiveness. Consumer health, the food industry and the job market all stand to gain from the initiative.

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