Development and use of data applications and ICT by SMEs to strengthen the short food chain and new business models
The short food supply chain is a serious development perspective for farmers and producers and a way for residents of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA), the provinces of Flevoland and North Holland to get a grip on the living environment. Aside from shortening the food chain, it is also a way to work together towards sustainable economic, ecological and social goals. In the coming years, we will jointly roll out a robust, regional and regenerative food system that is unique within Europe.
This opportunity to realise this joint roll-out strategy came about through a combination of factors, creating a ‘perfect storm’. What are the key elements of this perfect storm:
Corona demonstrated the importance of short food supply chains in feeding the city;
- The GAIN Transition Model is booking initial results and promises a major impact from the perspective of Smart City ecosystems;
- The National Collaboration Short Chains, City Deal Healthy Sustainable Food Environment and Green Deal, Government Catering are accelerating momentum;
- The Horizon Europe programme and the Farm to Fork policy are a perfect match;
- Cities across Europe are focusing on short food chains;
- At national level, we have established a new alliance between short chain entrepreneurs, cities and regions in the Netherlands, the Short Chain Taskforce. This alliance has a mandate from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture to support and guide the short chain movement in the Netherlands.
The specific problems we address are local and regional access to food and food security, facilitating collaboration between cities and regions towards regenerative agriculture, countering rising food prices and the lack of trust in quality brands, a lack of future prospects for farmers, a 50% decline in the farmer population in the NL within 10 years, collapsing ecosystems, unsustainable and highly polluting food systems, 80% loss in nutritional value since 1950, and the need to address 30-40% food waste.
To address these, we need to build short food chains through digital innovation, improving collaboration between all stakeholders, aligning all levels based on transparency, facilitating farmers/local producers, creating regional alliances and setting up innovation ecosystems in and around cities.
The role of logistics in smart cities is fundamental. It enables new and value-driven business models and is at the heart of innovation and collaboration. We have completed the first step for building smart logistics between Flevoland, North Holland, the Green Heart and Utrecht (as a goal the Randstad).
The role of technology is fundamental. It facilitates new and value-driven business models, is central to innovation and enables the reshaping of democracy (social self-organisation and pop-up public value) based on data and multi-level, cross-sector collaboration and game mechanisms (GAIN).
Amped and Local2Local are part of the Data Value Centre Agri- & Food Short Chain project for the above reasons. This project aims “to further develop a digital service concept for SMEs to support and enhance the potential and economic significance of using data for food supply through short chains.”
The project will be realised by a partnership of experienced professionals in the field of short food chain/regional food supply and ICT/data applications. These are 6 parties with a large network of (SME) companies, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations involved in the project.
The project partners Voedsel Verbindt (Food Connects), BDVC, Amped, Quant Base, FoodNed and Inzights are investing in the development of the DVC to work towards a demand-driven and regionally connected and regenerative food system. Amped is taking the experience and knowledge from the Local2Local-platform, Blockchain applications, running data programmes, the consortium of SMARTCHAIN H2020 and EU4Advice and the connection with the roll-out strategy towards a regional, regenerative food system in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area into the DVC project.