The municipality of Groningen is the driving force behind the REFRAME project within the European context. The aim of this project is to restore cohesion in the regional food economy and thus to increase innovative strength in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. The starting point is that regional food chains – from producer to consumer – can contribute to a sustainable economy and regional employment.
For example, by producing and consuming food locally, one saves on transport and storage costs, and fosters the own food quality and awareness about food. The project thus contributes to the regional economy, sustainability and also to the preservation of the landscape.
It can be predicted that 5 million rural jobs will disappeared before 2016. These changes do not only concern farmers, but all food chain related SMEs will be affected severely. New business opportunities arise for short food supply chains. However, these supply chains can only succeed if handled professionally and on a proper scale. It presents opportunities on four interconnected threads:
- Collecting market relevant regional data
- Developing innovative specialisation strategies for SMEs
- Forging new forms of regional cooperation and partnership based on common benefits and shared values
- Acquiring specific skills
REFRAME is up to the challenge!
In a living lab consisting of five regional pilots, partners will demonstrate the Regional Food Frame (RFF) as an effective set of measures to scale up and accommodate urban food demands and regional supplies. New data shall reveal the regions’ strengths and resources to match food demand and supply.
REFRAME provides the supporting infrastructure for food related SMEs to develop and implement smart specialization strategies in food chains on the urban-rural axis. On the way towards developing an own RFF, all pilots will use a 5-step road map. A transnational learning lab will be set-up to support the development of skills and training of all stakeholders.
REFRAME consolidates the know-how needed to set up these Regional Food Frames in a transnational network of experts, each closely linked and anchored in its own pilot region.