Building a better network for short food supply chains

A food supply chain refers to the journey of your food, from the farm to your plate. Shorter food chains can have economic, environmental, and social benefits. However, their realization is easier said than done.

Better value chains 
Short food supply chains (SFSCs) present solutions to the pressing challenges within our current food system: they are a means for both producers and consumers to gain better positions in the value chain, improving trust, transparency, food quality and safety. This is why the European Commission funded ‘EU4Advice’, aiming to strengthen SFSCs across Europe. EU4Advice's objective is to integrate SFSC advisors into national advisory systems while simultaneously creating an international network of SFSC advisors and policy makers. 

Real-world testing 
Within EU4Advice, four Living Labs are established as testing grounds for the implementation and validation of SFSC advisory systems. The four Living Labs, positioned in Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, represent a diverse cross-section of socioeconomic, political, cultural, and legal contexts. These pilot regions serve as dynamic environments in which local food system stakeholders, including producers, advisors, and policy makers collaborate, experiment and evaluate the practicality and effectiveness of the projects’ materials designed to support SFSCs. The living labs facilitate real-world testing, ensuring that the project’s outcomes are tallied to the unique needs and challenges of each participating region.  

Solutions to multifaceted challenges 
The Dutch Living Lab has a distinctive position due to the strong and efficient food and agricultural sector in the Netherlands. Therefore, creating a strong Dutch SFSC system, one that can compete with the current food system, is a financial, logistical, and technological challenge. The Dutch Living Lab team recognizes the potential of this network of policy makers, farmers, academics and retailers as an opportunity to find solutions for the multifaceted challenges ahead.  

Afbeelding credits

Header afbeelding: PxHere - food market