Project Background

Global trade with stakeholders in many different countries makes the management of food safety extremely difficult. Concerns have emerged regarding the safety of fresh produce in response to recent outbreaks and alerts linked to fresh produce and derived food products.

The food safety challenges raised by climate related changes highlight the need for timely scientific advice in order to guide risk management decisions. Building the capacity to educate farmers, requires processes for the implementation of preventive food safety management programs.

Risk assessment is the appropriate tool to provide the link between hazard control and consumer risk. Pro-active model development is necessary. Variability in supply chains is a challenge for risk assessment requiring appropriate data collection.

Moreover the objective of no compromise in food safety for European consumers while respecting food sovereignty principles, poses ethical problems. Further building on scientific excellence by collaboration with all stakeholders is necessary in order to assure a high level of protection of human health.

Our Objectives

Veg-i-Trade encompassed support for the development of control measures of a managerial and technological nature in the supply chain of crop production, post-harvest processing and logistics to minimize food safety risks. The assessment of the performance of horticultural safety management systems by a novel diagnostic instrument led to recommendations on European and global levels regarding quality assurance and the setting of science-based performance objectives.
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To reach this aim, the consortium has divided the project into eleven work packages.
The specific objectives of Veg-i-Trade are :
Mapping of the economical structure and organisation of the fresh produce supply chain at European and global levels and the identification of new trends in European consumption patterns
> WP1
Modeling of water treatment technology with respect to the adequacy of the microbiological quality of water used in the fresh produce supply chain and evaluation of production of chemical by-products

> WP5
Elucidation of trends affecting the health risks in the fresh produce supply chain related to changes in crop productivity patterns due to plausible future climate scenarios for major European regions and the world as a whole

> WP9
Development and validation of diagnostic instruments as a tool for the systematic assessment of the performance of Horticulture Safety Management Systems in the fresh produce chain

> WP2
Elaboration of useful recommendations regarding the application of good practices in the fresh produce supply chain to improve the adequacy and operation of control measures to prevent and/or reduce microbiological and chemical hazards

> WP 6 | WP 7 | WP 8
Risk communication in order to respect the principle of food sovereignty in the setting of risk management strategies

> WP10
Formulation of adaptation scenarios of ‘Horticulture Safety Management Systems’ to anticipate globalisation and climate change, leading to the description of Quality Assurance (QA) recommendations on EU and global levels

> WP3
Development of risk-based sampling plans, risk ranking and definition of risk-based metrics by microbiological and chemical risk assessments of fresh produce and derived food products, consumed in Europe, taking into consideration effects of packaging, logistics and globalization.

> WP 6 | WP 7 | WP 8
Study of the pre- and post-harvest conditions, including agronomical cultural practices and further processing techniques, packaging and storage conditions, on plant physiology and microbial ecology of fresh produce

> WP 4
Exploration of new and emerging food contamination pathways for microbiological and chemical hazards by baseline surveys, simulation and modeling of the logistic chain and risk assessments

> WP 6 | WP 7 | WP 8
Strengthening international collaboration by scientific cooperation, exchange of information and capacity building between trade partners in fresh produce in a global food market

> WP 10 | WP 11
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