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Quality and integrity in food: a challenge for chain communication and research (Transparent_Food)
Start date: Dec 1, 2009, End date: Nov 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The core relevance of transparency as a critical success factor and the need for the delivery of appropriate support by research has been emphasized in the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of the European Technology Platform 'Food for Life' from where this proposal evolved. It utilizes its links with the European-wide network of more than 30 National Technology Platforms to link up with stakeholders of the food chain including industry, consumers, research, and sector representatives of different European countries. The complexities in reaching transparency are due to complexities in products and processes but also due to the dynamically changing open network organization of the food sector with its multitude of SMEs, its cultural diversity, its differences in expectations, its differences in the ability to serve transparency needs, and its lack of a consistent appropriate institutional infrastructure that could support coordinated initiatives towards higher levels of transparency throughout the food value chain. The project focus is on the analysis, documentation, and dissemination of our present knowledge (including from literature, expert knowledge, and best practice experiences) on transparency solutions and needs, their realization through chain communication schemes and the implementation environment required for the uptake of solutions and their success. The integration of the knowledge into a standardized general framework provides the basis for a GAP analysis that identifies a ‘Strategic Research Agenda’ for future research that could have a major impact on the establishment of European transparency schemes.

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