A new European project – COREnet – will strengthen connections between advisors, farmers, and consumers and nurture sustainable short-food supply chains.
Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) enable more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems. Yet, institutional and regulatory barriers and farmers’ knowledge gaps hamper SFSCs from scaling up in the marketplace. To overcome such drawbacks, there is a need for targeted and impartial SFSC expert advisory services able to identify solutions and advice for boosting SFSC performance and impact.
COREnet will deliver good practices and success stories on the SFSC theme and support the systematic development of more effective SFSC guidance; this will be possible through a pan-European peer-to-peer learning network for SFSC experts. Project activities will foster knowledge exchange, disseminate innovative SFSC solutions and knowhow, and engage farmers, local players, and consultants until they reach consumers. Furthermore, COREnet acknowledges the role played by Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) relevant to SFSC growth and sustainable development. Thus, the project will promote and integrate the SFSC advisory and advisors’ diversity into national AKIS while supporting their work with new tools.
“COREnet is not only a Horizon Europe project but a community we initiated several years ago with the SKIN project, whose legacy is still vibrant being the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) thematic network on the short food supply chain. Many COREnet partners are part of this network. Bridging old and new partners, we will pursue a holistic, systemic, and collaborative approach aimed at helping SFSCs achieve greener market impact, ”Jelena Lazić, ICONS’ Project Manager responsible for the COREnet project. “ICONS is responsible for carrying out the project’s dissemination and communication activities to reach all the involved stakeholders within the value chain and develop sustainability plans for the COREnet solutions.”
The COREnet project, coordinated by the University of Foggia, sees the involvement of 13 partners who will represent the concept of “multi-actor” within the agri-food chain and have strong expertise in SFSC advisory and practice-oriented services from across the EU-27. The project started in mid-September 2022.