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Healthy and Safe Food for the Future – A Technology Foresight Project in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia FutureFood6

The FutureFood6 project started in February 2007 involving partners from 6 CEE countries – Bulgaria (ARC Fund being the national partner), Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The coordinating body is the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). This project has a budget of €725,000 and is fully funded through the European Commission’s FP6.

The objectives of the project are to promote a new decision-making culture on food quality and safety among managers and policymakers by raising awareness on quality and safety requirements for the total food chain - from consumption back to primary agricultural production, to identify key technologies and new business models, as well as to establish a Food Quality and Safety Platform in the partner countries. Its ultimate goal is to help Central and Eastern European countries’ food chains to reach international quality and safety standards, and thus enhance European competitiveness in this area. This project also aims to identify specific needs and to develop common actions to strengthen the food industry of the countries concerned and promote cooperation between them.

FutureFood6 is based on a foresight study for the future of the food industry in the partner regions. Foresight is an activity of anticipating future events or requirements – systematic and participatory process that gathers future intelligence and builds medium to long-term visions. Aimed at influencing current decision making process and mobilizing joint actions, it assists in making choices in complex situations by discussing alternative options and bringing together the knowledge and experience of different communities. The results obtained will be integrated into the policy recommendations for the future of the food industry in CEE. A short manual with key findings and best practices of food production to assist companies, especially SMEs, will be published. Challenges to the sector arising from the future visions and the development of global markets will be highlighted.

The implementation of the recommendations derived from this project is expected to have a number of impacts, such as raising awareness on food safety and quality issues at different the levels - producers, distributors, consumers, researchers, politicians and public authorities concerned; the improvement of health of EU citizens and enhancement of competitiveness of the EU food industry. So far, food quality and safety issues have not been a major concern in the six target countries. In this respect, the project will contribute to change this by raising awareness through intense dialogues among the major stakeholders – the food industry, government bodies, consumers and consumer associations, the wider public.

For more information please contact Ms. Zoya Damianova, Programme Director
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