COACH - Collaborative Agri-food Chains: Driving Innovation in Territorial Food Systems and Improving Outcomes for Producers and Consumers

COACH - Collaborative Agri-food Chains: Driving Innovation in Territorial Food Systems and Improving Outcomes for Producers and Consumers

Funder

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no.101000918.

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Value

Total Project Value: 3,021,762.50 EUR
Value to Coventry University: 495,875.00 EUR

Team

Professor Moya Kneafsey, Dr Priscilla Claeys, Dr Colin Anderson, Dr Chris Maughan, Dr Luke Owen, Amy Arnold, Csilla Kiss and Julia Stew

Project Partners

City of Copenhagen/Københavns Kommune (Denmark), Environmental Social Science Research Group (Hungary), European Coordination Via Campesina (International secretariat based in Belgium), FIAN International (International secretariat based in Germany), ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH (International secretariat based in Germany), Réseau International Urgenci (International secretariat based in France), University of Florence (Italy)

Linked Partners

FIAN Austria, FIAN Belgium, Landworkers’ Alliance (United Kingdom), Ehne Bizkaia (Spain), Confédération Paysanne (France), Ecoruralis (Romania), Elkana (Georgia), Solidarischen Landwirtschaft (Solawi) (Germany), Zambra (Spain), Mouvement inter-régional des AMAP (MIRAMAP) (France), Groupes d’Achat Solidaires de l’Agriculture Paysanne (GASAP) (Belgium), AMPI (Czech Republic)

Duration

November 2020 - October 2023

CAWR Themes

Community Self-Organisation for Resilience 
Policies and Institutions for Resilient Food and Water Systems
People’s Knowledge Working Group

Sustainable Development Goals

Zero Hunger

Sustainable cities and communities

Life and land

Project overview

Farmers and small operators are often in a weak position in the value chain. They lack bargaining power, face barriers to accessing markets, and struggle to achieve a fair income. At the same time, due to growing public awareness of the environmental crisis, and the rise of diet-related ill-health, many consumers want to conveniently access high quality, healthy and sustainable foods. In response, many innovative consumer-driven opportunities for farmers to access markets are now available.

In this context, COACH facilitates collaboration between farmers, consumers, local governments and other actors to scale up short agri-food chains which rebalance farmers’ position, create win-wins for producers and consumers and drive innovation in territorial food systems.

Project objectives

COACH will help coordinate strategies and disseminate good practices on how to strengthen territorial food systems and collaborative agri-food chains based on three building blocks: short food supply chains, civic food networks and sustainable public sector food procurement.

Specifically, COACH will:

  • Develop a ‘living library’ of 32 emblematic good practice examples from 12 countries which demonstrate how farmers can access consumer-driven opportunities to improve their incomes and rebalance their position in food chains, while also generating benefits for consumers (e.g. increased access to healthy, local food by low-income consumers).
  • Deliver a knowledge-based suite of activities to support farmers and small operators to access information on consumer demand and improve their capacity to connect with consumers.
  • Provide new insights and guidance on the costs and margins for each link in the supply chain, demonstrating opportunities for improved incomes for farmers and small operators and reduced costs for intermediaries.
  • Design a ‘farm-to-fork procurement toolkit’ for public authorities in order to improve sharing of experience and help them design appropriate tenders for healthy and fresh food supplied by small-scale producers and also to support farmers to know how to access these opportunities.

Societal Impact

Based on its multi-actor, hands-on approach to knowledge sharing and effective communication and dissemination that embeds policy engagement at multiple scales, COACH will contribute to scaling up short agri-food chains which rebalance farmers’ position, create win-wins for producers and consumers and drive innovation in territorial food systems across Europe.

  • Developing tailor-made and practical support to set up innovative supply chains creating win-wins for producers and consumers, including through a collection of examples of good practices, illustrating mutually beneficial cooperation and a fair share for primary producers.
  • Integrating the needs of primary producers and consumers in a hands-on approach in particular by minimising margins taken by intermediaries.
  • Improved sharing of experience between contracting authorities on tendering healthy and fresh food, with a view to connecting consumers with producers in a mutually beneficial way for the longer term.

More widely, COACH aims to have the following societal impacts:

  • Generate increased support for mandatory targets for sustainable farm-to-fork public food procurement.
  • Amplify capacity for endogenous rural economic development based on territorial food systems.
  • Contribute to inclusive innovation provides benefits to constituents who are often excluded from collaborative value chains.
  • Raise consumer awareness about the benefits of sustainable food.
  • Build the resilience of farming and farm communities, help the environment, and support better health for everyone

For more information on this project, please contact Professor Moya Kneafsey.

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