Boosting cross border Organic Ecosystem through enhancing agro-food alliances

Organic agriculture is a great solution to achieve food safety and security as well as environmental sustainability, but it is still quite underdeveloped and heterogeneous in Mediterranean countries. Main shared challenges are: inconsistent or lacking support policies from national/local governments, low innovation capacities, limited knowledge of sustainable farming practices and a weak value chain where MSMEs operate in a disaggregated way. 

ORGANIC ECOSYSTEM project aims at reducing these obstacles and make organic MSMEs more competitive and better integrated. The project intends to establish a cross-border agro-food ecosystem which will set the ground for the development of the Mediterranean whole organic sector. This will be encouraged through new business alliances, creation of innovative value chains and specialized support provided to MSMEs to increase the quality and marketing of products and access to new markets.  

CIHEAM Bari is leader of the WP3 and its main tasks are:

  1. Mapping key agro-food entrepreneurship specific stakeholders in Apulia Region;
  2. Capacity building for Competent Authorities (CAs);
  3. Framing cross border strategy and challenges for innovative organic value chain.
  4. Designing and implementing a cross-border organic data base
  5. Training on innovative organic value chain for Apulian msmes
  6. Organizing local labs for stimulating innovative value chain and business alliance.

General objective

Improvement of the organic sector competitiveness through the creation of a cross-border Organic Ecosystem supporting the development of business and SMEs in cooperation with public institutions. 

Specific objective

Strengthening innovative organic value chain through the establishment of Mediterranean business alliances. New value chain will be defined through a participatory approach focused on needs collection and innovative solutions co-design aimed at improving market access. 

Expected results

  1. 1 organic cross-border network established for cooperation, dialogue, knowledge transfer among stakeholders of the organic sector 
  2. 40 training days and consultancy services to provide MSMEs with tools and methods aimed to facilitate SMEs entry in innovative organic value chain creation and access to new markets as well as participation in international agro-food fairs
  3. 1 International business to facilitate networking among organic producers, researchers, business angels,  public authorities and stakeholders  
  4. National and CB Labs carried out to share knowledge and provide added value products by new business alliances.

Source of funding: 2.4 million € (EU Contribution) of which € 2.1 million though ENI CBC Med Program
Total budget: € 2 400 000,00

Partners:

  • Ministry of Agriculture – Jordan
  • JEPA – Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables – Jordan
  • Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Zahle and the Bekaa – Lebanon
  • CIHEAM Bari – International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari – Italy
  • SYNAGRI – Tunisian farmer’s syndicat – Tunisia
  • INNOPOLIS – Centre for Innovation and Culture – Greece
  • ASCAME – Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry – Spain.