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Project full title: Traditional United Europe food (Improving quality and fostering innovation of European traditional food production systems)

Project acronym: Truefood

Call identifier: FP6-2004-FOOD-3-A

Type of instrument: Integrated Project (IP) PCRD6

Coordinator: Spread European Safety GEIE (SPES)
Dr Daniele Rossi
Fax: + 39 (06) 59 03 34

List of participants:

Spread European Safety GEIE (SPES GEIE)), IT 
Instituto de Empresa, ES
Agriconsulting Europe S.A. (AESA), BE 
Instituto de Recerca y Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA-CSIC), ES
Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS), SI 
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione (INRAN), IT
Agricultural University of Athens, GR 
Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), IT
Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux, CH 
Karadeniz Technical University, TR
Association des centres techniques alimentaires (ACTIA), FR 
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE
Campden & Chorleywood Food Industry Development Institute (CCFIDI), HU 
Matforsk, NO
Central Food Research Institute Budapest, HU 
München Technical University, DE
Centre national interprofessionnel de l'économie laitière (CNIEL), FR 
Progetto Europa Regions S.r.l., IT
Confédération des industries agro-alimentaires de l’UE (CIAA), BE 
Stockbridge Technology Centre, GB
Dairy Research Institute of Ioannina (NAGREF), GR 
Univerisdad Islas Baleares- AINIA, ES
Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente (ENEA Biotec), IT 
University of Gembloux, BE
Escola Superior de Biotecnologia (ESB), PT 
University of Gent, BE
University of Kaposvar, HU
Fachhochschule Weihenstephan, DE 
University of Ljubljana, SI
Federalimentare Servizi S.r.l., IT 
University of Newcastle, GB
INRA Transfert (IT), FR 
University of Perugia, IT
Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), FR 
University of Prague, CZ

Objectives of the project and state-of-the-art:

The EU is the world’s largest producer of food and drink products, based mainly on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which represent more than 90% of the enterprises and about 30% of the Food and Drink Industry (FDI) manpower at European level. The FDI is the largest business of the EU in both terms of employment (with over 2.6 million people) and production; on average 77% of food enterprises in the EU have less than 10 employees and in most countries only 5-10% have more than 50 employees.

Since the Work Programme places special emphasis on the needs of  SMEs, Truefood intends to reach a target of  6800 SMEs. This will be possible thanks to the participation of 12 Food and Drink Federations coming from all part of Europe and also outside Europe (FEDERALIMENTARE – Italian Food Industry Federation, ANIA – French Food Industry Federation, FIAB – Spanish Food Industry Federation, FIPA – Portuguese Food Industry Federation, FEVIA – Belgian Food Industry Federation, SEVT – Greek Food Industry Federation, FI – Danish Food Industry Federation, FHFI – Hungarian Food and Industry Federation, FFDI – Czech Food Industry Federation, SETBIR – Turkish Food Industry Federation, BVE – German Food Industry Federation, CIAA – Confédération des Industries agro-alimentaires de l’UE).

Increased competition and stronger demands on food quality and safety require new knowledge and skills, but SMEs often encounter more difficulties in accessing innovative technologies and practices.

Starting from this premise, the Integrated Project Truefood has a two fold objective:

- Technological platform. At the scientific level, the objective of Truefood is to develop innovations that will improve the safety and quality of food from traditional food production systems, in line with consumer expectations. This will focus on the development of methods for integrating targeted modern technologies into traditional food production, processing and other supply chain components including distribution, marketing and retailing. Through this approach Truefood aims (a) to preserve and expand consumer demand and production of traditional foods in Europe and (b) to allow traditional food production and processing to conform to EU and national trading and food safety and quality regulation and trader/retailer specifications. The Truefood multi-disciplinary approach reverses completely the usual thinking of traditional food engineering: rather than limiting safety, nutritional quality, production efficiency, or even reproducibility of traditional food production to be compatible with method and equipment limitations, Truefood adapts the equipment, structure and process architectures themselves in order to create locally the most suited conditions for a given desirable result. By targeting innovation towards a wide range of commodities/sectors that together constitute a significant proportion of food consumption in Europe, the proposed project also aims at supporting a substantial proportion of the traditional food industry and consumers throughout Europe.

- Communication platform. At the strategic level, Truefood is aimed at bridging the existing gap between the industrial sector in the large extent and research and development organisations which often carry out separately research whose results are not actually exploited or exploited by single companies. To remedy this situation, Truefood will create and apply efficient communication channels within the food sector at national as well as European levels. This objective will be achieved by the setting up and maintenance of strong and dense links between science and industry, including the craft sector. The project will in particular create and operate an Observatory on Innovation and Food Safety and Quality (OIFSQ), aimed at performing continuous consultation amongst SMEs relevant national and international bodies to monitor trends and identify specific research needs related to all aspects of traditional foods. The Observatory will on the one side communicate the industrial stakeholders’ requirements to the Truefood research teams, on the other perform all necessary tasks to ensure fully transfer of technology to industry, including methods and protocols written in home language, suited training, awareness campaign, etc. The project will form technical-scientific mediators (TSM) whose role is to widely and deeply disseminate the project outcomes throughout the European food socio-economic fabric.

Project duration: 4 years
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