It is predicted that 5 million rural jobs will have disappeared before 2016. These changes do not only concern farmers. In their decline all food chain related SMEs will be affected severely. New business opportunities can be found in short food supply chains. There are already many initiatives connecting farmers to consumers. However, short chains can only succeed if handled professionally and on a proper business-to-business (b2b) scale. This presents opportunities on 4 interconnected strands:
- Collect relevant regional market data
- Develop innovative specialisation strategies for SMEs
- Forge new forms of regional cooperation based on common benefits
- Acquire skills for b2b cooperation
REFRAME takes up these challenges. In a living lab of 5 regional pilots, partners will demonstrate an effective set of measures to scale up and accommodate urban food demands and regional supplies. We call this set the Regional Food Frame (RFF). New data will reveal the regions’ own strengths and resources to match food demand and supply. We provide a support infrastructure for food related SMEs to develop and implement their smart specialisation strategies. On their way towards a RFF, all pilots will use a 5-step road map. A transnational learning lab will be set up in support of skill development and training of all stakeholders. REFRAME pools the know-how needed to set up these regional food frames in a transnational network of experts, each closely linked and footed in its own pilot region.