Project "QUALIFY"

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Quality standards and authenticity to foster competitiveness of agri-food SMEs (QUALIFY) has been designed to foster the competitiveness of the SMEs in the agri-food sector by tackling a challenge that affects the involved regions and the whole EU (as stated by the European Commission):

  • The improvement of the quality processes of these SMEs.
  • The fight against the fraud in the sector.
  • The promotion of the authenticity in their products.

Overcoming the barriers related to these challenges is to foster the reduction of costs, better chain values, better processes, and better products that will allow the tackled SMEs to grow and be more competitive in the national and international markets, where they need to enlarge their presence in front of larger companies, which are much less challenged by the presented topics.

The project aims at ensuring that when the projects funded under these schemes tackle agrifood SMEs they introduce aspects of quality, fraud prevention, and authenticity, which must complement the existing financial and non-financial instruments, enlarging the desired outcome: the growth of these SMEs.

The project also aims at enlarging the capacities of the managing authorities, relevant SMEs representatives and other stakeholders to better tackle these aspects and develop better and more efficient projects.

The objectives are based on the framework of selected instruments and their needs, as well as the logic for transregional collaboration, the EU Cohesion Policy and the ESIF, and the respective RIS3, all around the topic of the project, where managing authorities require strategic capacities to align actions and build on critical mass. QUALIFY’s overall objective is to promote the competitiveness of the SMEs in the agri-food sector through better quality and authenticity levels and standards, improving the policies tackling the promotion of the SMEs in this industry by ensuring that this relevant issue is present and efficiently introduced and implemented in the policies and strategies.

Other sub-objectives of the project are:

  1. to ensure that SMEs in the sector have more efficient and effective quality standards to make them more competitive;
  2. to promote quality and authenticity standards as a key aspect for product differentiation, avoiding fraud;
  3. to set up a learning process starting from best practice identification and exchange of practice to manage ERDF-based instruments on interregional actions linked to the support of SMEs competitiveness;
  4. to support the implementation of PPs’ instruments action plans, explicitly exploiting the possibility to invest ESIF in smart specialisation areas linked to agrifood industry and its SMEs;
  5. to develop the notion of cross-border knowledge exchange, where all PPs build on their knowledge through other partners’ experience and transferring their own;
  6. to promote the engagement of the stakeholders of the quadruple helix model in improving policy instruments;
  7. to foster the use of the ICTs as a main tool for competitiveness also in the agri-food sector, following the provisions of the EU’s digital agenda.

The Partners of the porject are the follwoing:

 - Government of Catalonia – Department of Agriculture,Livestock,Fisheriesand Food

 - Chamber of Agriculture of la Vienne

 - Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 - Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

 - Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 - Region of Thessaly

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