The Fundación Juana de Vega recently hosted the highly-anticipated ERASMUS+ FOODIMPROV’IDERS project Multiplier Event on 9th and 10th May 2023, focusing on the challenges and opportunities of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) and territorialized agricultural systems. The two-day event, attended by a diverse group of stakeholders.

The first day consisted of a joint working table, where participants discussed key issues impacting SFSC in the FJDV’s area of influence. The conversation primarily revolved around two significant collective catering initiatives: the bio-school canteens of the Biosphere Reserve, supported by the LAG Mariñas-Betanzos, and the staff canteen of the INDITEX (ZARA) headquarters, which serves 5000 meals daily.

The joint round table was attended by Senén Barral and  Pablo Gómez from the innovation area of Inditex, Alejando Wonenburguer and Natalia Valle from Plan on demand , Beatriz Ferreira from A Caracola Nursery school , Daniel Lois from Sodexo, Jon Garai from Ekoalde, Jorge Blanco from Asociación Mariñas-Betanzos (Local action group), Margarita Hernández from  Instituto Canario de Calidad Alimentaria (school canteens in Canary Islands), Miguel Riog from cooperativa Os Biosbardos, Pedro Lloret from Cerai, Eduardo Sanjurjo from Kibus on-line,   Alejandro Martin and Patxi Hurtado from ONGD SenValos and José Manuel Andrade , Alfonso Ribas, Beatriz Suárez and Elena López from Fundación Juana de Vega.

During the second day of the Event, the Foodimprov’inders project results were presented by Elena López, a manager responsible for the project in Spain. Additionally, a series of presentations and two round tables on specific topics of high interest in the field of the project were also included.

The presentation of the project was followed by a presentation by Eva Torremocha [ML1] from the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation. This foundation is based in France and Spain and works to promote food sustainability  in all its dimensions through the financing and support of projects, the generation of networks and spaces for exchange, as well as the systematisation and dissemination of learning.

Two round table debates focused respectively on the organisation of food production and the new forms of logistics and distribution that can facilitate a leap in scale in these territorial food systems and on collective catering as one of the drivers with the greatest impact in promoting the consumption of organic and local products.

The day was completed with presentations by Pedro Loret from CERAI, research and territorial dynamisation technician from the Centre for Rural Studies and International Agriculture of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, which in recent years have carried out technical assistance for the implementation of the Consell Alimentari de València, the València 2025 Agri-food Strategy and coordinated the Horta-Cuina Programme. They are also members of the GIASAT working group (Integrated Agroecological Management of Territorialised Food Systems) which in 2021 developed the project “Ecosystem of Tools for Sustainable Food Hubs”.

At the end of event, special attention was paid to digital tools for boosting competitiveness in SFSC. Plan on Demand[ML2] , an e-commerce and management platform for local producers, food-hubs and cooperatives, was presented. The platform enables the digitalisation and automation of processes while facilitating cooperation between agents in SFSC, improving the competitiveness of small producers and increasing sales of local and organic products.

The conference was attended by 60 participants, including representatives from the University, the regional government, food producers, heads of educational centres, LAG technicians and chefs.