EU4Advice and COREnet have mapped over 1.000 short food supply chain advisors!
One of the key goals of EU4Advice and COREnet is creating a European advisory network of short food supply chain advisors, integrated within the national AKIS. As a first and crucial step, an initial data set of SFSC advisors has been established and will be complemented throughout the runtime of the projects. Eventually, the collected information will feed into a publicly available and fully searchable database, serving as a centralized repository of contact details and information for professional advice on SFSC.
Identification of advisors was made based on an agreed upon set of criteria between the two projects to ensure quality and consistency of the data collected across the different countries. Advisors were categorized into two types: (1) formal and (2) informal advisors. Formal advisors are defined as individuals who either as independent entrepreneurs or having an advisory position in different types of advisory organizations are formally responsible for stimulating and facilitating innovation and problem- solving activities, by taking over multiple and changing roles and tasks. Informal advisors are defined as such actors who provide similar services out of a non-formal advisor position but do not consider themselves as advisor (Knierim et al., 2020).
For mapping SFSC advisors, we used a multi-step method, first using a systematic top-down approach to collect information on formal advisors, followed by bottom-up research to complement the data set of formal advisors, as well as identify and map informal advisors in each country. Collection of data was greatly facilitated with the help of various AKIS entities in each country, which were already identified by i2connect, a sister project of EU4Advice, and referred to in the AKIS country reports, available here.