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Short Food Supply Chain

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Introduction

Re-connecting the two extremities of the food supply chain, reconciling producers with citizens, stimulating mutual trust and establishing a short chain based on common values on food, its origin and production method.

This story is part of SKIN, the EU thematic network on short food supply chain.
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Chain

Re-connecting the two extremities of the food supply chain, reconciling producers with citizens, stimulating mutual trust and establishing a short chain based on common values on food, its origin and production method

Chain

Short Food Supply Chains are characterized by maximum one intermediary between producer and consumer

Exchange

Overcoming knowledge fragmentation and fostering bottom-up innovation among farmers

Network

Creating a permanent European network of best practices to foster SFSC development

Proximity

Building a trustful relationships based on common values between society and producers

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Fresh Products

Of all local products available, only Fresh produces , either primary production or processed, will make Short Food production an economically sustainable business model
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Whether it will be through a farmshop, delivery scheme, e-sales… People are more and more interested in local food and the story behind it
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Technologies

The range of potential technologies is large and growing but tend to fall into a number of ’hot topic’ areas along the food chain.
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Many of these innovations are being enabled by digital technologies making customisation, real time data exchange and targeted distributon a reality
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Data logging technologies help to improve quality in the supply chain, reducing food waste and energy consumption. Whilst attempts to monitor the food chain using sensors have been around for over 20 years, the development of newer, smaller and cheaper sensors coupled with IoT is transforming the potential of this technology.
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Regulations

  • Legislation as such, i.e. (national) laws, EU regulations and directives;
  • Guidelines, guidance documents, administrative handbooks, manuals, FAQ’s etc., i.e. everything which helps to understand and apply legislation.
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Organic food, ecology, environmental protection, sales, the prolonging of the shelf life without chemicals, nutrition in hospitals, conditionality of consumer behavior, introduction of new food, new infrastructure, cooperation with the industry, the high pressure chamber and new technologies (like sous-vide, extruder, pasteurizer, hybrid drying).
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Logistics

Strategies range from the ‘uberisation’ of last mile delivery to the use of smart lockers, from the offer of ready-to-eat products to the constant search for higher produce quality. Technologies enable new solutions, but the challenge is to preserve the quality of the relation between consumers and producers while fighting against supermarkets.
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Smart lockers store products consumers have bought on line. This logistic model helps local producers survive in a market dominated by big retailers.
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A new generation of SFCs can grow with the traditional market evolving into logistics hubs enabling the aggregation of orders from several producers into efficient deliveries for individual buyers.
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Skills and AKIS

SFSCs enable producers to increase profit margins but require the development of new skills right across the Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) in order to stimulate their initiation, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship within them
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An AKIS should:
  • Consider farms as businesses rather than production unit
  • Consider farmers as entrepreneurs that need a comprehensive modern understanding of sales, marketing, distribution, consumer psychology and dynamics
  • Provide farmers with life-long-learning skills
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Extension services must reach into non-traditional agriculture, to stimulate and support:
  • Urban farming and vertical farming;
  • production based on hydroponic,aeroponic and dryponic systems;
  • animal-free systems for production of meat, poultry, fish, milk and leather products;
  • alternative protein production based on insects or cellular-agriculture using algae, yeast and fungi

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Consumers

Several type of SFSCs involving consumers can be identified in Europe, for example CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture), on-farm sales, off-farm schemes (farmers markets, delivery schemes), collective sales towards public institutions.
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Ensuring quality produces to consumers and direct contact with the producer are the primary values of SFSCs, before environmental or economic values.

The main challenge of SFSCs is ensuring good revenue to farmers while offering good quality products to all categories of consumers.
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Join the Network

We built an engaged community characterised by a multi-faced (geographical, ethical and co-operative) proximity between food producers and society.

We established a permanent network of stakeholders, working on the improvement of SFSC efficiency for the economic growth of the sector for the benefits of European farmers and citizens.

Join our community 
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