The EUFRUIT project was launched in March 2016 with the objective of facilitating access to knowledge and disseminating existing research and innovation potential for the benefit of the fresh fruit sector. EUFRUIT is a thematic European Fruit Network, which comprises of a consortium of 21 official partners from 12 different countries. To connect the researchers’ work to the business reality of the sector and to represent the fruit industry in the multi-actor project, both AREFLH (Association of the Regions producing fruit, vegetables, and horticultural products) and Freshfel Europe (European fresh fruit and vegetables Association) are part of the consortium. Both sector associations are actively involved in the dissemination of the project results and in providing input from a business and policy perspective in the project’s goals and end results.
On 14 November 2017, the EUFRUIT consortium met in Brussels for its yearly General Assembly. EUFRUIT is a multi-layered, thematic network under the Horizon 2020 programme (Project ID: 696337) that aims to bridge the gap between research outcomes and uptake of those results by the sector itself. Already halfway through the project, the consortium members collected a large array of best practices and ongoing research efforts on a public Knowledge Platform at http://kp.eufrin.org/. Additionally, the platform offers a set of synthesis reports which reflect the current state of play in research along four thematic areas: performance of new varieties and cultivar developments, minimising residues on fruit and in the environment, improving quality during handling and storage, and enhancing sustainable production systems.
The General Assembly took note that the Knowledge Platform, which was launched more than one year ago, now contains over 200 items (publications and information about field days, working groups, industry events, presentations) which are publicly available to the widest possible audience. Included on the platform are scanning reports, which are drafted by the individual partners, containing the state of play within the partner’s particular region and research field, and synthesis reports, which identify best practices and research gaps within one of the four mentioned thematic areas. The aim of the EUFRUIT consortium for the second half of the project’s time span, apart from continuing to gather the ongoing research efforts, is to maximise the visibility of the Knowledge Platform, in particular by reaching out to the end users.
EUFRUIT is coordinated by Michelle Williams, Head of the Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark, and current chair of the Board of EUFRIN, an informal network of university departments and research institutes for temperate fruit crops.