A Successful Final Conference

06 April 2021 - Published by Luchiena Lanjouw
The Final Conference of REFRAME was held on 25 March as a hybrid event filled with inspirational presentations, discussions, videos, and even live music.

This conference marks the end of the REFRAME project in which partners from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have worked together to establish a more local, sustainable and healthy food chain.

The conference was attended by around 90 participants and was live streamed from Forum Groningen, which is an award-winning building and ideal venue for a hybrid event. The conference spotlighted some of the successes achieved in the REFRAME project, and the participants could also take home some concrete recommendations on how to work with more sustainable food production and shortening the food supply chain.

One of the success stories shared during the conference was the “ICA case”. Marcus Nyström from Lokalproducerat i Väst, Sweden explained that with help from REFRAME, the ICA Maxi supermarket stores were able to increase sales of regional food with 30 percent from 2017 to 2019, which is an increase worth 9,6 million EUR. In addition, the number of regional SMEs selling products in the stores increased from 164 to over 300.

Gaël Staelens from Hogeschool VIVES in Belgium told the participants about the B2B Taste Market – a market, which enables small and medium-sized producers of farm and regional products to meet potential buyers from institutional kitchens, retail and restaurants, who demand smaller quantities.

Students from the Hanzehogeschool University of Applied Sciences show some of their ideas about how to make local food more attractive to internationals and students in the Netherlands. These included a range of great media products such as posters, a music video and an Instagram profile.

The conference was also enriched by two keynote speakers. What is the definition of a short food supply chain? What impact has Covid-19 had on short food supply chains? These were just some of the topics, which keynote speaker Jan Willem van der Schans touched upon in his presentation.

How to produce good food for people and make it accessible was also a topic on the agenda, which keynote speaker Christine Pohl, co-founder of the Berlin Food Policy Council of Berlin (Germany) tapped into. In connection with this Christine explained how they are active in the promotion of a sustainable transformation of the food system in the region, towards a sustainable food and agricultural policy.

The topic of food policy was also discussed by Laurids Siig Christensen from Smagen af Danmark and Maarten Groeneveld from the Gebiedscoöperatie Westerkwartier (NL). More specifically they discussed how to get politicians and other stakeholders involved to contribute to a local 'Food Agreement'.

Implementing short food chains can be a complex thing. This was also highlighted by REFRAME’s project leader Hiltje van der Wal, from the Municipality of Groningen, who stated:
- It is not a straight forward process, the food chain is a chain in which every link is connected to the next but also to the ones after and ones before. If your production changes, your market has to change with it, just as we need to move along with changing demands, circular economy and issues of waste.

Experience or reexperience the REFRAME Final Conference

The REFRAME Final Conference was recorded, you can therefore (re)experience the presentations, videos and discussions in the video below.