agroBRIDGES is a European project, aiming to build bridges between producers and consumers, empowering farmers with practical knowledge and support to rebalance their market position through new business and marketing models based on Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC).
For agroBRIDGES, the working definition of Short Food Supply Chain is “a food supply chain with as few links as possible between the food producer and the consumer/ citizen who eats the food”. This approach focuses on the mutual benefits for the main stakeholders, including transparency for the consumer, greater value for the producer and support and recognition of the intermediary’s role when it adds real value to the chain.
The agroBRIDGES project has developed an innovative agri-food multi-actor framework, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and practical support tools to better connect producers and consumers. It fosters the establishment of sustainable business and marketing SFSC models with fewer intermediaries and an improved market position for local producers. Such models may include Community Supported Agriculture, Face-to-Face Trade, Local Food Trade, Online Food Trade, and Improved Logistics.
As a step forward from traditional support tools that rely mainly on facilitating communication and event organisation, the novelty of agroBRIDGES is based on the development and implementation of meaningful tools and resources for producers that can be easily used in practice to set up and run SFSC. These tools include a Decision Support tool to facilitate the selection of the most sustainable business model to be adopted for animating SFSCs, as well as a combination of communication materials, training programmes, event guides, and digital tools for connecting and building capacity among producers and consumers, packed in the agroBRIDGES Toolbox.
The tools delivered by the project will be thoroughly tested and validated through its multi-actor framework, including 12 Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs) spread across 12 respective geographical regions in Europe. This way more than 400 people from the agri-food sector will be involved, directly participating in knowledge exchange, co-creating, and co-developing project outputs together with project partners.
Along these lines, the project’s expected impact is to co-develop new business and marketing models based on SFSC that have the potential to increase farmers’ income by minimising intermediaries’ margins. At the same time, it is expected to contribute to a 5-8% increase of farms involved in direct sales to consumers in the long term. On the shorter term, 150 persons will be trained on topics related to food procurement and how to mobilise innovative agri-food supply chains and support local producers.
agroBRIDGES is a coordination and support action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N° 101000788. Started on 1st January 2021, with a duration of 36 months and a budget of almost 3 million Euros, the project brings together a strong consortium from 11 different countries.
The agroBRIDGES consortium, led by Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL (Greece), includes a total of 15 partners: Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL (Greece), TEAGASC – Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Ireland), FruitvegetablesEUROPE (Belgium), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland), Wageningen University (Netherlands), CREA – Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (Italy), Munster Technological University (Ireland), Food & Bio Cluster Denmark (Denmark), Fundación Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía CTA (Spain), Unimos Foundation (Poland), VEGEPOLYS VALLEY (France), Sabri Ulker Foundation (Turkey), Rezos Brands Agrifood Company (Greece), Sustainable Innovations Europe (Spain), Hub Madrid SL (Spain).