Centre for Rural Economy


Quality Low Input Food Project

Improving quality and safety and reduction of cost in the European organic and ‘low input’ food supply chains

The Integrated Project ‘Quality Low Input Food’ aimed to improve quality, ensure safety and reduce cost along the organic and "low input" food supply chains through research, dissemination and training activities. The project focused on increasing value to both consumers and producers using a fork to farm approach. The project was initiated on March 1, 2004 and ran for five years. It was funded by the European Union with a total budget of 18 million Euros. The research involved thirty-one research institutions, companies and universities throughout Europe and beyond. The work package responsible for consumer research was based at CRE with links to Universities in six other countries. Comparative studies of consumer perceptions of safety and quality involved both qualitative and quantitative techniques and were centred not on the committed organic food consumer but on people who occasionally consumed organics or low input foods and those who had not yet explored the low input and organic market. Reports on the first two sub-projects: reviewing the literature on food quality and low input foods; and, a qualitative study of attitudes and understanding of quality of low input and organic foods are available on the QLIF website. for further information on the project please contact Dr. Elizabeth Oughton at e.a.oughton@ncl.ac.uk

The European Joint Organic Congress took place in Odense, Denmark on the 30th and 31st May. As well as QLIF researchers from across Europe the Congress was attended by other EU funded researchers working on food and farming, business people from the local organic sector, politicians and other end users. Over 1200 people attended which made it an excellent opportunity for dissemination of the early results from the project and to obtain feedback on the work as it progressed. The Congress was a particularly valuable opportunity to meet others working on different points of the food supply chain and to discuss the implications of our findings.