The 4th Consortium Meeting of the SKIN project, which included the 1st of 6 Innovation Challenge Workshops (ICW) – the topic was Fresh Products, was organised in Mechelen, Belgium between 23rd and 25th April 2018. During the 3 days the partners had the opportunity to discuss the progress of the project so far, what actions were planned for the next 6 months and how to continually improve SKIN Project. The partner from Spain were not able to attend, but did take part in the meetings through Skype.
The hosts, Patrick Pasgang (ISP), Mariska Van Koulil (ZLTO) and Xavier Gellynck (UGent) welcomed the partners that came from all over the EU and Ukraine. This was followed by Fedele Colantuono – (UNIFG) the SKIN coordinator explaining what activities were planned for the day, including updates on each of the Work Packages (WP) by the WP Leaders. The updates provided the detail of all the activities carried out since the last meeting and those planned for the future activities.
The updates opened by John Hyland (TEAGASC), who updated about WP2, which noted that involving different multi-stakeholders is important and useful for end users.
The update of the WP3 was carried out by Adrienn Molnar (UGent), who explained that the best way to use the analysis of the social network is through economic collaboration, anticipating the challenges, and exploring growth & profitability potential; collaborative economy; foresee challenges; and retail apocalypse. In addition, Adrienn clarified that there must be a change in the business model, which should adapt to the needs of consumers, such as implementing new sales and distribution channels. It is important that both farmers and primary producers perform activities that are convenient for consumers.
Regarding WP4, Mariska van Koulil (ZLTO) explained that the new regulation on how to use the information from database of the SKIN Project will come into force at the end of May 2018.
Kishor Pala (EFB) provided an update on WP5, which included progress so far on Deliverable 5.1, Coaching Guidelines (deadline for completion 30th April 2018) and asked for any comments to be sent by close of business on 26th April. This was followed by brief details on the planned training to the internal coaching team on 25th April. There was an update on Regional Nodes, the next main phase in WP5, which included the development of concise guidelines on the composition of the nodes, how they could operate, etc. The deadline for the establishment of Regional Nodes and its final report is October 2018. On-going coaching guidance support will be available throughout the delivery of the SKIN project, both to internal coaching team and to the Innovation Groups that will be formed through the ICW.
Marcello Bardellini (Youris) spoke about WP6 and the importance for the SKIN Project that all partners send communications about the activities that they are doing in order to upload onto SKIN website.
The last speaker of the day was Fedele Colantuono (UNIFG), who explains the progress of the SKIN Project.
This was the 1st ICW and was mainly focused on a field trip to a number of food producers in Belgium and The Netherlands. The purpose was to visit food producers to better understand their businesses and ask questions and offer suggestions. The food producers that were visited were:
– Fruit Roes Oud-Turnhout;
– Agrofranken Postel;
– Walhoeve 01 Goirle;
– Walhoeve 02 Tilburg;
– De Laarhoeve;
– t Schop Hilvarenbeek;
– Mechelen Het Anker.
The 3rd day of the meeting, 25th April, the partners were attending an interesting Internal training to the coaching team leading by Kishor Pala (EFB). The aims of this workshop were to introduce the Coaching Guidelines; give examples of Good Practices; foresee report; explain the importance of Business Planning; and to provide information on the key to find funding sources.
Fedele Colantuono concluded the 4th SKIN Project meeting by presenting in detail the activities that were planned over the course of the next 6 months, including finalising and submitting the Deliverables to the EC, the planned activities of the ICWs and requested an update from each of the Working Group Leaders on the progress made to organise and deliver the workshops, and also for planning the 5th SKIN Project meeting in Warsaw, Poland between 6th and 8th November 2018.
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