Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

EU projects

Project dates : 2011-2014


Assisting SMEs to participate in digital food supply chains.image brochure

The permanent need for innovation is one of the most important challenges faced by the agro-food sector. Innovation and new information technologies have become determining factors for its competitiveness and for strengthening exchanges with other sectors linked to it. Innovation requires better collaboration not only between the public and private sector but also between different business sectors. In this respect an increased use of ICT and the emergence of innovative B2B (business-to-business) services can help achieve this goal.

The eFood Chain Solution

The eFood Chain project was an important step towards the promotion of innovation in the food supply chain. Its main goal was to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of this industry by stimulating an innovative and seamless use of ICT along its value chain. SMEs are at the centre of interest of this action, as it aims to facilitate their participation in global digital food value network and reinforce business relationships between SMEs and their business partners across borders.

Through its framework for a digital food supply chain the project was expected to identify and diminish the existing technical and organisational barriers, as its ultimate goal is to create an innovative, seamless eBusiness environment that will stimulate the uptake of ICT and eBusiness technologies in this highly SME-intensive sector.

The eFood Chain project’s key objectives were to:

  • Provide an in-depth market analysis in terms of the current use of ICT and eBusiness solutions in the agro-food sector.
  • Develop a framework for a digital food supply chain, which will set the principles and rules for interoperability among business processes and data exchange models in order to allow for seamless, paperless information and data flows.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility and validity of the framework through sectoral and cross-border pilot-prototypes.
  • Promote awareness raising and dissemination of the framework and the results achieved.
  • Establish a governance model for future maintenance of the framework and propose policy recommendations for mass market adoption. 



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