MAC-Team

Food-Net / food-MAC network

Methodology

food-MAC logofood-MAC network food-MACKey Roles have been identified and distributed to partners:
3 Committees
have been set up:
- Management (for administrative and strategic matters)
- Technical (for technology support and implementation of tools for the partnership and the network)
- Content Committee (for methodology, datagathering, data analysis, synthesis and dissemination activities).

Several tools have been implemented for the whole partnership:

 

  • Administrative tools:
    • contractual guidelines in complement to official Leonardo guidelines
    • templates and house style guidelines for internal communication
    • common models of administrative data gathering on a continuous basis for time reporting and for financial elements
    • dedicated internet hotline for food-MAC partners including an on-going evaluation system based on TQM spirit.
  • Technology based tools:
    • Some groupware and collaborative Intranet tools: central repository for all documents, procedures, ... to share documents, calendar, to submit questionnaires, to vote and take decision. This system enables us to work remotely, asynchronously, from anywhere and even using PDA equipments (Personal Digital Assistant).
    • Some Intranet system for data input: central database for datagathering from anywhere in Europe by using a web interface. This system enables data input and as well data search so that the Analysis and Synthesis teams can access and work on data input by all country partners.
    • Video-conferencing tools. The Video conferencing tools are mostly used at Transnational Meetings to share events and discussion with partners who couldn't travel or for Relay Partners from other countries to bring in and to share their experience with other local SMEs.
    • Web-conferencing tools. These tools are used to prepare transnational and working meetings. Usually 1 month and 2 weeks before these meetings we have a web-conference session where we can share documents, presentations and validate intermediary results as well as agendas and minutes. We also use web-conferences to replace some face-to-face working sessions.
  • Empowerment and task sharing: several levels of cross responsibilities have been implemented:
    • Country responsibility:
      • for national datagathering on each Interest Group topic
      • for national overview and control of the results of the Interest Groups
    • Thematic responsibility:
      • for the definition of common datagathering guidelines per Interest Group topic for all partners
      • for the pan European Analysis of one Interest Group topic by identifying the corresponding key European expert of the food-MAC network
    • Global synthesis:
      • common guidelines have been set up to ensure consistency and homogeneity across Interest Group Themes to facilitate comparison and consolidation of information
      • dedicated  senior partner has been identified to consolidate all Interest Group outputs and generate a pan-European synthesis on each theme and recommendation for SMEs as well as for European and Local Decision Makers.
    • Relay Partners: based on the MAC spirit (Multi-Actor Cooperation approach to involve all types of organizations/individuals and at all levels)
      • Relay Partners for dissemination and to increase mutualisation of resources, expertise, know-how for optimization of problem solving skills of the food-MAC network.
      • Relay Partners as SMEs, Industries and Companies to identify needs, to strengthen European agro-food sector and anticipate socio-economic changes in a pragmatic approach which can be implemented at SME level without disturbing production or resources level of the SME. All cases treated by food-MAC experts are participating to increase common knowledge/expertise (Good Practice cases).
  • Iterative process has been chosen to gather data at European level other more than 10 countries and on 6 different key themes:
    • 1st datagathering phase on all sources of information in a country on each topic (based on the initial guidelines per topic)
    • Review of datagathering at the 2nd transnational meeting in Budapest (Hungary) to evaluate gaps and define new datagathering guidelines
    • 2nd datagathering targeted to identified gaps per topic for each country. In some cases new means of datagathering have been implemented such direct interviews of SMEs or dissemination of information via internal newsletters of some professional associations.
    • Review of datagathering at the 3rd transnational meeting in Tallinn (Estonia). New gaps and weak points have been identified. In parallel, specific targeted use of results have been validated such as the participation at the ANUGA Food Tec Fair (to test intermediary results directly in contact with SMEs and other Relay Partners).
    • Preparation of the ANUGA Food Tec Fair and intermediary Interest Groups reports have been the objectives of the 3rd datagathering and analysis phase. First draft of the Global Synthesis report is also a deliverable of that phase but only for internal food-MAC project usage to be ready for improvements.
    • The 4th transnational meeting in Gliwice (Poland) aims at validating data gathered at the ANUGA Fair. Validation of food-MAC services as presented at the ANUGA fair is the base for the future sustainability scheme of the food-MAC network.
    • Last working period until Brussels final meeting in March 2004 aims at consolidating all results, finalizing Interest Groups reports and Global Synthesis. That period is a key phase for the implementation of sustainability scheme of the food-MAC network. At the Brussels' meeting, food-MAC project is ending to give birth to the full food-MAC Network.