We are five regional pilots within this transnational project. Our objectives of the REFRAME project is to develop/reestablish local infrastructures of food production, food processing, food consumption and profiling of rural communities.

The potential benefits are many, among which can be mentioned:

  • increase in rural communities of economic value added in the many steps from field to fork
  • increase in local occupation and in-migration of highly qualified individuals
  • diversification of food qualities based on production adapted to local conditions and traditions
  • hence development of principles of more sustainable food production

Regional Pilot West Sweden


(Photo Agroväst) 


Introduction of the Pilot of West Sweden (SE)

There is a high and growing, consumer driven, demand for regionally produced food in West Sweden. Swedish food is considered as safe and sustainable, and the trend to buy local and organic have the last years spread to the common consumer. The regional demand is greater than the supply in almost all product categories. The mismatch when it comes to B2B more often concerns logistics, volumes and sales, than product category or product quality. One product category that needs attention is vegetables in which the regional production needs to double to meet the regional demand.

Our main focus in REFRAME: 
The identified possibilities that we have at hand in the REFRAME project concerns the demand from the private sector, e.g. retailers and restaurants. There are other projects running in West Sweden that supports public procurement of regional food and an increase in the production of vegetables.

Our activities in the REFRAME project aims at:

  • Establishing qualitative meetings and venues where purchasers from grocery stores and restaurants meet regional food producers.
  • Supporting SMEs to develop their business to better meet the regional demand
  • Helping retailers with work procedures that eases purchases from smaller regional suppliers, and to find possible suppliers in different product categories.
  • Supporting the development of a distribution network for effective logistics and joint marketing, that helps SMEs to reach the regional market.
  • Strengthening the natural resource schools as learning and test environment for sustainable short food chains by establishing sales of the schools own produced products to hospitals in the area.

Regional Pilot Denmark


(Photo Smagen af Danmark)


Islands as living laboratories
For more than a decade, small islands of Denmark have had a focus on the reinvention of local infrastructures of food production, food processing and purchase as a means to promote the development of vulnerable local communities. It has been called the icon strategy because food production, often taking advantage of the unique conditions of nature in these small geographical entities , adds value to profiling the community. The Danish partnership in REFRAME was named Islands of Denmark because islands are distinct geographical entities, often with a strong identity, and they might serve as illustrative examples of REFRAME activities in terms of reinvention of local infrastructures and the effect of activities in terms of value added  to the local communities. Ferry tickets is a significant cost of logistics to the community, and reduction of these costs in one asset of reinvention infrastructures on the island. In addition, the ferry port to the island might serve as a point of monitoring the effects of the REFRAME approach.
The Danish partnership aims to develop the REFRAME approach from the smallest of island communities represented by a group of 27 small islands scattered all over the map of Denmark to larger islands representing single municipalities - and to even larger municipalities and regions composed of  multiple municipalities.  Involved in the project  are the 27 small islands as well as 4 larger islands, Laesoe, Mors, Aeroe and Langeland, each one representing a municipality, and more locations might still enter the danish project. 


Regional Pilot Germany


(Photo Diakonisches Werk)

Partnership: Partners of the German regional partnership are: Diakonisches Werk, a charity of the evangelic church (DWO), BERNE2020, a cooperative of currently 20 chair holders as citizens and entrepreneurs from various sectors, Grünlandzentrum Niedersachsen/Bremen, an association of institutions from rural entrepreneurs, research, admini-stration and politics (GLZ), and a vocational school centre with 4 facilities and about 2.600 scholars (BBS).

Regional supply and demand: DWO is the only large scale consumer in our partnership who already has de-cided in favour of regional food. Due to this the mapping of demands and resources is essential for this pilot.


Regional Pilot Belgium


(Photo Vives University)


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Local agriculture and short supply chain is a growing sector to meet a rising consumers demand. A lot of small business-to-consumer initiatives are emerging. Despite of this rising trend, the impact on the economic growth of SME’s is limited. Business-to-business projects supporting food chain participation of local SME's may have a larger impact on turnover and sustainable development. Due to strict regulations concerning food safety and product quality, SME’s find it hard to conclude new contracts with larger clients such as institutional kitchens. This project aims to tackle this mismatch by developing new strategies and business models.

Our main focus in REFRAME:

The main aim of the Belgian pilot is to set up a regional short supply chain by a cooperation between producers of regional food products and local farmers, food distributors and institutional kitchens. According to previous research within the REFRAME-project, quality control, relative simple administration rules and limited amount of suppliers are of importance for institutional kitchens, which explains the choice to involve -under certain circumstances-distributors as extra step in the short supply chain. The different strategies can be divided in following action points:

-       Development of guidelines for SME’s to facilitate supply of food products towards food distributors.

-       “Bring in the kitchen”: development of workshops for management and staff of institutional kitchens to involve more local products into their daily menu.

-       Raising awareness among consumers through storytelling

-       Development of a digital tool to facilitate logistics and matchmaking


Regional Pilot the Netherlands



The Groningen region has a long and proud history in the production of food. Still agriculture is one of the defining sectors of the Northern Dutch economy. However, the current situation is less than ideal. Potential for innovation, chances for sustainability and possibilities for employment stay unused. The interaction between supply and demand is not ideal. Many Small and Medium Sized Enterprises do not have access to Smart Specialization Strategies and other relevant knowledge to access the urban market.

Our main focus in REFRAME:

The Municipality of Groningen and the Regional Cooperative Westerkwartier work through Reframe on realizing the potential of food production for the region. They do so through the dissemination of knowledge and specialization strategies and by improving access of regional SMEs to the regional urban markets.

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. However, they can only succeed if handled professionally and on a proper scale. This presents opportunities on 4 interconnected strands:

  • Collect market relevant regional data
  • Develop innovative specialisation strategies for SMEs
  • Forge new forms of regional cooperation and partnership based on common benefits and shared values.
  • Acquire specific skills

REFRAME takes up these challenges. In a living lab of 5 regional pilots, partners will demonstrate the Regional Food Frame (RFF) as an effective set of measures to scale up and accommodate urban food demands and regional supplies. New data will reveal the regions’ own strengths and resources to match food demand and supply. REFRAME provides a support infrastructure for food related SMEs to develop and implement their smart specialization strategies in food chains on the urban-rural axis. 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.