Project: Data-Enabled Business Models and Market Linkages Enhancing Value Creation and Distribution in Mediterranean Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains

Duration 01/06/2021 - 31/05/2024
Project Topic MED-LINKS aims at providing small-scale producers with tailored and effective solutions enhancing efficiency, sustainability and fairness along fruit and vegetable supply chains in Mediterranean countries. The project tackles five Specific Objectives: (i) to assess the competitive performance of Mediterranean FV supply chains and consumer preferences; (ii) to support the adoption of quality and sustainability standards among small-scale supply chain actors; (iii) to provide innovative IT tools supporting decision making; (iv) to provide small-scale actors with optimised management practices and business relations enhancing quality, sustainability and profitability; (v) to encourage stakeholders to exploit the results for local communities. MED-LINKS approach is based on the combination of three groups of optimization tools: (i) quality and sustainability standards and protocols, (ii) digital platform empowered with blockchain technology (smart contracts) and (iii) managerial tools and coordination strategies (i.e. Business Models). These will be customized based on the actual conditions of local actors participating in three different supply chain systems representative of commercial circuits in the Mediterranean region, namely: a) local Short Food Supply Chains, b) Green Public Procurement, c) Export-Oriented Supply Chains. The project will target and engage local clusters of small-scale producers in Egypt, France, Greece, Italy and Morocco to enhance their capability to adopt quality, environmental and social standards and thus to connect with other supply chain actors and profitability, while meeting final consumers’ needs. After a recognition of the major existing public and private quality and sustainability schemes in each of the three supply chain systems, innovative quality and sustainability tools or strategies tailored for SMEs (e.g. voluntary certifications schemes, Participatory Guarantee Systems, etc.) will be proposed. The second optimization set of strategies concerns the exploitation of innovative business models. An experts’ pool will evaluate and select the BM to optimize within specific clusters. Finally, partners will propose guidelines for pilot actions, bringing about technological innovation’s proposals compatible with selected optimized BMs. As a third set of optimization tools, a web-based digital platform will be developed to support small producers in (i) networking with other supply chain actors and final consumers, (ii) increasing opportunities and reputation (iii) adopting quality and sustainability standards and (iii) managing commercial B2B transactions. In order to scale out and scale up the proposed innovations, context-specific response strategies enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of local SMEs and value chains of interest will be implemented and demonstrated through five Pilot Actions. Compatibility between the proposed certification paths, business models and digital solutions will be tested and their potential benefits will be verified in real contexts, in each target Country. MED-LINKS will also develop training and advisory activities, while stakeholders’ feedback will be monitored and drivers determining acceptance or refusal of the solutions proposed will be analyzed.
Website visit project website
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2020 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna Coordinator Italy
2 Romagna Tech S.C.p.A. Partner Italy
3 Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale Partner Italy
4 Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development Partner Egypt
5 Isis for Food Industries LTD Partner Egypt
6 Sekem Development Foundation Partner Egypt
7 Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes – Institut Agronomique Mediterranéen de Montpellier Partner France
8 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Partner Greece
9 International Hellenic University Partner Greece
10 University of Cadi Ayyad Partner Morocco
11 University of Moulay Ismail Partner Morocco