MAC-Team

Food-Net / food-MAC network

food-MAC study 3: Innovation in agro-food sector

poster InnovationManufacturers and Producers in the European food sector need to innovate in order to survive in today’s competitive European food market.

Critical success factors:
Innovation needs a combination of ingredients most SMEs of the food sector have to find outside at transnational, national and/or regional levels:

 
 

  • Financial means/helps
    (venture capital or business angels)
  • Technical means
    (expensive material or lab)
  • Knowledge
    (specific expertise or scientific abilities)
  • Protection of intellectual and industrial property
    (both formal and informal)
  • Knowledge of  potential market
    (and how to reach them)
  • Partnerships and clusters
    (strong connections between industry and university)

European clusters:
When analysing progress in the food sector in Europe, the most progressive areas are those where it is possible to create strong clusters, including a wide range of companies and services in one region or particular sector of activity. The importance of strong support from society and the political arena, universities and research, and the different kinds of companies in the sector has been obvious.

SWOT analysis from the national surveys done in participating countries
Strengths:

  • The growing potential in the consumer’s linking food to health and well-being;

Weaknesses:

  • The lasting image of food industry as a traditional sector associated to the fear for additives thought as anti natural.

Opportunities:

  • More meals are taken outside and require fast, safe and simple preparation.
  • Consumers ’growing interest for health products/functional food.

Threats:

  • The fight between distributors over prices has lead to some reduction in the quality level of food products.


Recommendations

It is important for the food industry to take into account the “Triple Helix collaboration” (between society, industry and research) to enable its growth and sustainability.


The study report is available in the library.