CORDIS - EU research results

Collaborative Agri-food Chains: Driving Innovation in Territorial Food Systems and Improving Outcomes for Producers and Consumers

Project description

Connecting farmers and consumers

The environmental crisis is raising public concern and increasing consumer demand for high quality, healthy and sustainable food. However, farmers and small operators are facing difficulties in accessing markets. The EU-funded COACH project will support innovation in local food systems by encouraging and facilitating collaboration between farmers, consumers, local governments and other players to establish short agri-food chains. Moreover, it will develop a 'living library' of 32 successful examples from 12 countries that demonstrate the way farmers can access consumer-driven opportunities. COACH will bring a knowledge-based set of activities to support farmers and small operators in accessing information on consumers’ demand and provide recommendations for improved revenues. The project will also design a farm-to-fork procurement toolkit for public authorities and maximise the impact of all proposed initiatives through communication and dissemination practices.


Farmers and small operators are often in a weak position in the value chain. They lack bargaining power, face barriers to accessing markets, and struggle to achieve a fair income. At the same time, due to growing public awareness of the environmental crisis, and the rise of diet-related ill-health, many consumers want to conveniently access high quality, healthy and sustainable foods. In response, many innovative consumer-driven opportunities for farmers to access markets are now available. The aim of this project is to facilitate collaboration between farmers, consumers, local governments and other actors to scale up short agri-food chains which rebalance farmers’ position, create win-wins for producers and consumers and drive innovation in territorial food systems. It does this in five key ways. First, it develops a ‘living library’ of 32 emblematic good practice examples from 12 countries which demonstrate how farmers can access consumer-driven opportunities to improve their incomes and rebalance their position in food chains. Second, it delivers a knowledge-based suite of activities to support farmers and small operators to access information on consumer demand and improve their capacity to connect with consumers. Third, it provides new insights and guidance on the costs and margins for each link in the supply chain, demonstrating opportunities for improved incomes for farmers and small operators and reduced costs for intermediaries. Fourth, it designs a ‘farm-to-fork procurement toolkit’ for public authorities in order to improve sharing of experience and help them design appropriate tenders for healthy and fresh food supplied by small-scale producers and also to support farmers to know how to access these opportunities. Fifth, it maximises the impact of all the project’s activities through effective communication and dissemination including policy engagement in order to create a more enabling environment for collaborative agri-food chains.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 495 875,00
CV1 5FB Coventry
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Coventry
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 495 875,00

Participants (19)