Local Food Supply Networks

Although the quarantine in Europe has ended, the war started by Russia in Ukraine once again highlighted the need for rearrangement in the usual food supply networks. The value of using, supporting and promoting locally produced supplies and foods – as well as short food supply chains that link producers directly with consumers – has become apparent. To further reinforce local food supply networks, we are looking for visionary teams that can provide solutions in domains of:

  • Solutions for surplus food distribution;
  • Connecting local producers directly with consumers;
  • Projecting demand and priority of local goods;
  • Community-based supply chains;
  • Solutions for surplus food distribution.


Effective organic food delivery to pre-school education institutions

As a rule, preschool education institutions must purchase 50-60% of their own food in order to receive funding for organic food. In this case, there are three reasons that can cause problems in purchasing food. First, there is a limited number of suppliers offering their services. Another problem is an inflexible logistics system, where suppliers do not deliver orders if they do not receive the optimal quantity. Added to this, the agreed schedule for product delivery complicates things. It would be best to expand the range of suppliers (publicly available lists of suppliers and the range of raw materials and products they offer could be helpful) and develop a more flexible, better developed logistics system.

Digital solutions to improve the tree pruning process

Pruning is a necessary part of fruit tree care. The process of pruning involves removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches and shaping the tree to improve its health and productivity. Pruning can be challenging for inexperienced growers because it requires knowledge and good technique. In addition, there are significant differences between pruning trees and shrubs depending on species, age, and aesthetic appearance. With the help of a digital solution based on artificial intelligence, this situation is mitigated. Based on the season, the type of plants, their age and the purpose of pruning, artificial intelligence can help prune fruit trees and shrubs independently, accurately and professionally.

Smart and easy implementing solutions that help with monetizing side-streams

Wasteless production refers to the concept of no waste in the production process. This is something that has been a major goal for many companies in the recent past. We need to be more creative in order to find solutions for the waste generated by food production activities. As an example, we could earn income from waste, but there is no unified system for doing so. Neither there are enough resources nor knowledge to create and implement a system in our region or country. The idea behind this system is to prevent waste by ensuring businesses do not produce unnecessary products and products that aren’t needed at all. The energy (especially heat) generated by companies can be used to heat water and air in areas. The idea of a unified system would also be enhanced if there were opportunities to generate income from waste generated from our production and trade processes.

Kombucha challenge (promoting campaing)

People consume carbonated beverages almost every day, and their popularity is undeniable. It is estimated that about 10% of people in the EU aged 15 and older drink sugar-sweetened soft drinks every day, and 20% drink them one to three times a week. Despite its popularity, soda pop is not the healthiest beverage.

A healthy alternative to soda is kombucha (fermented tea) and for good reason. If you want to cut down on sugar but still crave a soda, kombucha is an excellent choice. In addition to improving gut health, kombucha offers a number of potential health benefits due to the fermentation process which creates gut-friendly bacteria. The contrast between popular sodas and soft drinks could not be more stark.

Ancient cultures have long used kombucha as medicine with recognized health benefits, making it a rising star in the beverage industry nowadays.

The popularity of kombucha in the USA has grown over the past decade. It is now one of the most popular drinks in the country. Taking numbers into consideration, the total capital of kombucha today is 2.6 billion dollars. Among other territories, including Europe, there are only 600,000 dollars, compared to 2 billion in the US. However, it has become increasingly popular in parts of Asia and North America in recent years, especially with millennials who are concerned about their health and wellness.

By focusing on the whole product’s usefulness, finding the best promotion strategy is crucial to making kombucha a popular and sought-after drink in Europe. Alternative health trends must be embraced.

An ICT tool to connect producers, retailers and consumers: The VallCET project approach

The long supply agro-food chain of the Mediterranean Basin that despite being an Agroecological diversity hotspot with an extraordinary variety of raw materials and traditional food products produces large amounts of by-products that are not further valorized. High production volumes, environmental impact, and nutritional content of byproducts make them an important subject for careful valorization.

Through engagement of stakeholders and a shorter supply chain, local participants can improve their competitiveness in the agrifood supply chain, and especially meet consumer demands for healthier locally produced food, which benefits smallholders economically, socially and environmentally.

All of this will be possible through the development of an ICT tool that will facilitate effective communication between different market players of the agro-food supply chain (mainly local smallholders) and consumers. This tool will facilitate the exchange of information, commercialization and distribution of by-products associated with its new value-added products.

Utilizing Food Side-Streams

Food production is a wasteful process, during which between 20-40% of food is lost. Thus, utilizing the by-products and side-streams of these processes to produce value adding products is essential in our collective pursuits of sustainable environments and circular economies. Disruption of food supply chains in recent years has made the problem even more prominent. We are on the lookout for smart and easy to implement solutions that help with:

  • Aggregating by-products;
  • Side-stream value discovery;
  • Monetizing side-streams;
  • Side-stream recycling or utilization.


Digestate usage

Plant material, water, and other substances are released by the intestines of cows as part of their feces. It is a useful material that helps us in many ways. It is also a renewable and abundant resource. The waste of manure is regrettable.

It is a rich fertilizer, an efficient fuel, a useful building material, a raw material for paper making, and an insect repellent. Biogas is also produced from cow manure. Bacteria digest organic matter anaerobically to produce biogas.

When biogas is produced from cattle dung, valuable minerals are retained in the concentrated digestate (35% moisture). It makes sense to use concentrated digestate and minerals, does not it? In this respect, it is necessary to find ways to use a waste product from digestate.

Valorisation of waste, by-products and side-streams from agrifood sectors

An important component of sustainability in the food and agri-food industry is the value-added recycling of food industry waste and side streams, products that have extremely high intrinsic value but are often thrown away because they cannot be further processed to meet consumer expectations. In food waste, by-products and by-streams lie a great opportunity for the development of sustainable food ingredients and products. A great solution to the imbalance between supply and demand and food by-products can be the development of new products or applications to transform them into innovative and healthy products for the industry and/or the end consumer. Galicia (Spain) is a major producer of dairy, wine, and meat products. Therefore, projects related to these sectors should receive special attention.

(Innovation-based entrepreneurship projects interested in participating in this food acceleration programme: https://bffood.gal/en).


Over 14,000 farms are registered in Spain, with laying poultry groups numbering 1,000 farms, with 40,000,000 laying hens. A hen produces one egg per day, which amounts to 40,000,000 eggs per day. Eggs usually weigh 60 grams, including the shell which weighs about 6 grams, or 10%. Accordingly, 240,000,000 grams of the shell is generated daily for the full egg (eggshell + egg product), an extremely valuable by-product that should be managed efficiently.

In order to preserve the planet and preserve our quality of life, eggshells need to be used for sustainability. Shells can be used in a number of ways. Biodegradable packaging, insulation, and even building materials can be made from them. Therefore, finding efficient and sustainable solutions is crucial. Additionally, we could try to find an effective solution for the health sector, contributing to the health of plenty of people.

Chicken droppings

Only in Spain, there are more than 14.000 registered farms with 14.440.000 kg of chicken droppings being generated per day. It is an extremely valuable resource and one of the finest organic fertilizers available. It is also true that not all chicken farms are able to deal with the abundant residues left by this chicken manure. The trend in chicken farms is that large ones increase and small farms decrease due to low profitability or the high cost of maintaining them. To make farms more competitive and sustainable, it is necessary to find treatments for this by-product.

The problem is that the manure is not recycled, so it starts to pile up. This leads to a lot of flies and an unpleasant smell. The farmers are struggling with this problem because they can’t cope with a large number of chicken droppings and their business is lost. In order to solve this problem, it is better to look for a novel treatment solution for the by-product that can improve the competitiveness and sustainability of chicken farms.

Smarter Food Packaging

Disturbances related to the food supply chain in our food supply networks and consumption patterns have caused significant food waste, as well as led to major financial losses for food manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Packaging is one of the key factors at the center of all of this. We welcome all innovative solutions for food packaging that address such issues as:

  • Consumer-oriented traceability solutions;
  • Digital technology-infused packaging;
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of packages;
  • Biodegradable and recycled packaging.


Sustainable packaging for healthy plant-based energy desserts.

Since the first impression of a product is the most important part of the sale, customers are often put off by unprofessional packaging. Sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging is also not an option when it comes to maintaining an impeccable and professional appearance. Depending on the product, we always have to consider several factors before putting some products into production. Regardless of how good the product’s packaging design is, we need to consider its storage conditions and other important characteristics. Ideally, we want to find a sustainable and affordable nature-based packaging solution for products that need to be stored in the refrigerator. Packaging that is affordable, nature-based, sustainable and reliable.

Ensuring control in the supply chain

The supply chain is often plagued by a vast number of problems. There is a disruption of supplies resulting from geopolitical events, an increase in logistics services, and a need to deliver the product on time. We have faced massive shortages of many products and manufacturing materials due to multiple weaknesses in the supply chain system we rely on for almost everything we need. Most often, the delivery of products by different modes of transport, through intermediate terminals, damages the product. It is almost impossible to track order quality from supplier to customer today, which is the biggest uncontrollable factor. A damaged product leaves no trace of how, when, or where delivery conditions were disrupted. This problem must be solved by implementing quality control systems for supplier delivery to the buyer.

Kombucha packaging

Due to the negative environmental and health impacts of non-degradable plastic packaging, many organizations are advocating to drastically reduce plastic production and increase recycling – as well as promote more sustainable food packaging.

If the packaging is made from natural materials, it means it is biodegradable. Plastic is not easily biodegraded, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of years to break down, releasing harmful chemicals. Compostable packaging, such as sustainable paper products, is even available in eco-friendly packaging. Unfortunately, we cannot use paper packaging everywhere because it is disadvantageous and impractical. Current data suggest that paper packaging requires even many times more mass than plastic packaging to perform the same function. For this reason, paper tends to have a greater environmental impact, apart from its carbon footprint.

The packaging industry must respond to the demand for a sustainable, innovative, and practical packaging solution. Only in this way we can continue to support healthy globalization and preserve the well-being and integrity of our planet.

Shelf life extension of Fermentful product

There is a growing awareness of gastrointestinal health and its importance for overall well-being, alongside the increasing food intolerances, allergies, and food-based lifestyle choices. The easy way to maintain and restore health is to consume plant-based and probiotic-rich foods; these are the most effective ways to boost immunity, improve digestion, and support mental well-being. The Fermentful company specializes in this particular sector.

In 2021, a Latvian company started its work in the field of food technology, which produces alternative dairy drinks from fermented green buckwheat, filled with useful life microorganisms. These dairy products undergo a month of validation. But this isn’t enough to distribute products abroad. The shelf life of the products should be increased to 3-6 months while maintaining a clean label and a high microbiological content in order to enter export markets. A smarter packaging solution, a culture optimization process, and a better production process can enhance shelf life and product stability.

Smart labels for traceability

It is a complex journey for food from the farm to the consumer’s plate. Food supply chains are interconnected systems that connect the source of food to its final destination. A top priority in building resilience in food supply chains is food traceability. To improve traceability in the production and distribution cycles, food companies need solutions that can track and locate products in real-time. Another factor is agility, which is crucial for the optimization of supply chain processes, including predictive planning and management of inventories.

Food traceability can be improved with comprehensive and customizable product labelling systems that enable comprehensive traceability throughout the entire value chain. Aiming to optimize logistics and inventory management in controlled locations can be especially beneficial.

(Innovation-based entrepreneurship projects interested in participating in this food acceleration programme: https://bffood.gal/en).

Solving Last Mile Delivery

On-line retail and food product or meal deliveries to the consumers’ doorstep have skyrocketed throughout Europe and the globe, with the end of this surge nowhere in sight. Yet alternative retail channels and the so called “last mile delivery” remain relatively open fields for novel and efficiency-increasing solutions. We are welcoming teams that offer solutions related to:

  • Solving increasing demand for last mile delivery;
  • Controlling and monitoring conditions of last mile delivery;
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of last mile delivery;
  • Simplifying retail for food producers.


Controlling and monitoring conditions of last mile delivery

While last-mile delivery is a quick and easy way to deliver food, you cannot rely on it to maintain product temperature. It’s no secret that each product has its own storage conditions. Temperature-sensitive products can lose quality and freshness with even minor temperature fluctuations. This can cause some products to lose value and quality. Although self-shipping is time-consuming, expensive and not the most environmentally friendly way of delivery, online sales are an important channel. Therefore, it is necessary to take special care when delivering certain products. Temperature control and monitoring throughout the delivery process is an excellent solution to a situational problem.

Energy-Efficient AgriFood value chain

While agri-food chain businesses – e.g. farms, food processors, retailers, distributors – vary substantially in terms of their scale, capital availability, operations and technology used, all generally tend to rely on energy for machine operations, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water and waste management. The latest increases in energy prices, especially natural gas and electricity, threaten the continuity of agri-food production cycles and therefore the ability to continue delivering essential agricultural commodities, food ingredients and products and feed materials. We are looking for innovative solutions that could address issues such as:

  • Incentivize customers to save energy;
  • Capitalising on renewable energy;
  • Operational changes to save energy;
  • Cross-cutting technological or design changes to save energy.


Energy-efficient destruction of biodegradable packaging

Sustainability is a hot topic today, and companies are being forced to find new ways to become more environmentally friendly. Environmentalists and governments are pushing for the elimination of biodegradable plastics and other single-use plastics. Biodegradable packaging must be destroyed at very high temperatures, which is neither practical nor environmentally friendly. In addition, current waste systems are not capable of destroying them. As consumers recycle them with conventional plastics, the plastic that needs to be recycled spoils and must be thrown away. The best way to solve this problem is to find energy-efficient ways to destroy biodegradable packaging.