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9 Mar 2017

The EuFooD-STA Webinar on "Innovation in traditional Food? – Good Practices" took place 9 March 2017 at 4:00 PM CET.

In the European Union, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the food sector are increasingly under pressure due to developing open markets, increasing demand of standardized and price competitive food products by the consumers, rising importance of large retailers, and challenges in obeying governmental regulations. This raises the risk of losing many traditional foods as well as traditional techniques of production, processing, preservation, and packaging that are applied by SMEs using regional raw materials and often have a role in the cultural identity of regions. SMEs of traditional foods must extend their skills in modern as well as competitive marketing and production techniques to comply with existing European regulations and to promote the aspects of their products related to nutrition and health.
The present webinar consists of a presentation of a number of examples of entrepreneurship in the field of traditional food, which having been successful in bringing about the necessary technological changes, have not lost value or authenticity (quite the opposite) in the aforementioned manner. Actual examples are commonly thought of as an ideal way to put the message across to other (potential) entrepreneurs or students of the matter, which in this sense is related to the methods, conditions and attitudes that turn an interesting idea into a successful business in the “traditional food” sectors.
The presentation is primarily based on extensive European-wide desk research and direct contact with the promoters (informal online interviews), in order to provide a deeper understanding of the case’s background, focus, approach and results. The information was then used to build case study fiches for each example and presented in the final conference of the Trafoon project.

The presenter, João Gonçalves, has been in SPI since 2009, as project officer and manager, in the fields of regional and place-based innovation, urban policy and management, entrepreneurship support policy and planning, business support, and lifelong learning programmes. Has spent 1 year detached in Brussels, having gained extensive knowledge on European funding applications and project management skills. He has a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Aveiro (five years diploma), and a post-graduate degree in Development Policy and Innovation. In 2006, João Gonçalves worked as R&D researcher in the University of Aveiro, having developed a range of projects and publications in the fields of Spatial Planning, Place-Based Innovation and ICT take-up. In 2008, João Gonçalves was called to join the University’s Rectorate as Project Officer. During this time was responsible for nurturing and developing University/Business/Local Government partnerships, which translated into a number of regional-level projects.