The FOX consortium aims to stimulate short food supply chains for fruit and vegetables by applying small innovative mild processing technologies. Since the start of the project, technology partners have been working hard to develop mobile food containers. Yet, there are already many practices dealing with the processing of fruit and vegetables, both good practices and less successful experiences. Sharing such practices is a powerful tool to enhance innovation among farmers and requires a dialogue. In November 2020, the first round of workshops with stakeholders was organized by the FOX consortium. On the 28th of June, the FOX consortium organized a second workshop with a diversity of experts: farmers, representatives of farmers organizations, research institutes, non-governmental organizations, or other stakeholders.
Inspiring stories from Flanders and Finland
Two guest speakers opened the discussion: Aira Sevon and Daniel Cromphout. Aira Sevon is a Finnish organic farmer, investing continuously in new product development and actively seeking for niches. They explicitly keep their eyes on food trends, such as the potential of plant-based food products. In 2019, their farm ‘Gobbas’ won the European organic food innovation price. At the same time, they are confronted with fighting market forces and issues of ownership. Daniel Cromphout shared his experience from the business Kopjezwam, an urban farming initiative with the idea of expanding through franchising. Daniel had a career in the bank sector before starting his own company. This experience in the financial sector is translated into a very robust business plan and a successful business. Yet, Daniel also emphasized the need for own start-up capital, which is for sure a hurdle for many young starters in the sector.
The stories of the guest speakers were recognizable as well as inspiring for the participating farmers from Belgium and Czech Republic. All across Europe, farmers invest in innovations, either on-farm or in cooperation with external partners. Alth