Keyword 13 - Communication and capacity building
BackgroundCommunication and networking with the various stakeholders, including consumers, on issues of safety of fresh produce is essential to get better insight into the current state, pro-active systems and monitoring programs in place for assuring safety in the fresh produce supply-chain.
International collaboration and capacity building is needed to overcome the challenges of food safety of fresh produce in international trade, climate change and globalization. This involves the upgrade of the critical mass in safety, quality assurance and risk assessment in the agro-food chain by training and education opportunities through technical assistance.
Veg-i-Trade approachVeg-i-Trade comprises a well-balanced spectrum of in total 23 partners spanning from universities (8), research institutes (6), SME’s (7) and industrial partners (2).
Certain SME’s and the industrial partners comprise trade companies of fresh produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers) sourcing all over the world, producer associations and fresh produce processing companies specialized in growing, producing, marketing and distributing ready-to-eat pre-packed products either with a focus on leafy vegetables or various fruits and berries or salad vegetables.
In addition some SME’s Veg-i-Trade partners are water treatment technology providers. They provide a network for field studies and input on practical experience but also input to tailor and adjust communication of key findings fit for purpose not only the scientific community but also to stakeholders in the fresh produce supply chain.
Public workshops, dissemination activities and networking at events as well as dedicated training programs such as summer schools organized in collaboration with other funding agencies (e.g. www.itpfoodsafety.UGent.be) further works on the interaction with individual business or organizations and stakeholders in the field of the Veg-i-Trade story and contributes to dissemination of research results and capacity building.
All Veg-i-Trade-partners, and also the advisory board (including amongst them producers associations and consumer organizations) dispose of a wide network and warrant the transfer of research outputs to the industry and consumers in an accessible way.