AGROSMARTcoop was a 2.5 year EU co-funded project that started in July 2016 and ended in December 2018.
The AGROSMARTcoop project “Space for the integration, competitiveness and intelligent economic growth of agri-food cooperatives in the Sudoe rural areas” was co-funded by the Interreg Sudoe programme 2014-2020 under Priority Axis 2: Stimulating the competitiveness and internationalization of SMEs in South-West Europe.
Its main objective was to create an intelligent space for promotion, networking and inter-cooperation with advanced tools and services to support the competitiveness of agri-food cooperatives in South-West Europe (Sudoe) and in particular to improve their management, marketing strategy and technological innovation through the sharing of knowledge and good practices among them.
The project covered 6 regions of the Sudoe: Galicia, Castilla-La Mancha, Euskadi and Extremadura in Spain, Região do Norte in Portugal, and Nouvelle-Aquitaine in France. It aimed to alleviate the disadvantages of the rural areas belonging to the Sudoe and to promote their economic development through the research of efficient transnational solutions to support the competitiveness of agri-food cooperatives.
- Promote the eco-innovation among agri-food cooperatives in the Sudoe to optimise their growth and value-added potential;
- Support the intelligent marketing of the products of agri-food cooperatives in the Sudoe and highlight their quality and endogenous character;
- Promote the synergy of agri-food cooperatives in the Sudoe and the creation of alliances and strategic projects through inter-cooperation.
The AGROSMARTcoop project had a total budget of €1,295,000, 75% of which was co-funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
Duration of the project
30 months, from July 1, 2016 until December 31, 2018.
Role of AREPO
During this project, AREPO proposed ways to improve the intelligent marketing strategies of agri-food cooperatives and contributed to the dissemination of the project’s results thanks to its wide network of agricultural and agri-food stakeholders from all over Europe.
To this end, AREPO organised two major events:
- The 4th edition of the “European Event on Quality and Origin Products” held in March 2018 in Brussels and whose main objective was to discuss the strategies to be implemented to strengthen the place of GIs in the post 2020 CAP. A full session was dedicated to the tools and strategies for the valorisation of quality and origin products, during which the results of the AGROSMARTcoop project and the key factors of the intelligent marketing strategies could be disseminated to a large audience of specialists and policy makers from the agricultural sector ;
- The 2nd edition of the “Transnational Forum for Intercooperation” held in May 2018 at the Bordeaux Agricultural Fair in partnership with the 20th edition of the “Assises de l’Origine”. This Forum aimed to contribute to the improvement of innovation, intercooperation and competitiveness of agri-food cooperatives in the Sudoe and to question the place of GIs within the post 2020 CAP. It also enabled many cooperatives from Spain and Portugal to discover the wealth of quality products and good practices of the New Aquitaine agri-food cooperatives.
Among the main results of AGROSMARTcoop is the creation of a virtual platform to promote cooperation between agri-food cooperatives. This platform consists of several tools and services, such as:
- A virtual laboratory called “AgroLab” which contains a map of available funding and a bank of innovative ideas;
- An intercooperation section with a geolocation map that gathers about 150 agri-food products, 5 electronic product catalogues and an exchange forum where, at the end of the project, 206 cooperatives were active;
- A best practice guide on eco-innovation and intelligent marketing, made available to agri-food cooperatives and SMEs in the EU;
- A consultancy service on eco-innovation and intelligent marketing enjoyed by some 115 cooperatives;
- Training modules (more than 350 hours).
Training has been one of the most important tasks of the project, resulting in the production of numerous vignettes and monographs in the areas considered most motivating by agri-food cooperatives. The modules are on the platform and are available to all interested agri-food cooperatives and SMEs.
AGROSMARTcoop has given us the opportunity to enhance the value of agri-food cooperatives from a global knowledge perspective.
Synergies have been generated through inter-cooperation and strategic alliances resulting mainly from the intercooperation events organised throughout the project. These synergies have led to the birth of new consortia and projects (e.g. LEADER) and, following the interest shown by the agri-food cooperatives themselves, a new project following on from AGROSMARTcoop has been submitted to the Interreg Sudoe programme in 2019, to support the digital internationalisation of agri-food cooperatives and SMEs in the Sudoe, and to promote and protect their products under EU quality schemes in the international digital market.
This project is called “AGROSMARTglobal” and has been approved by the programme.
AREPO is again involved in this project as an internal partner (for more information, please consult the page dedicated to the AGROSMARTglobal project).
Santiago de Compostela, SPAIN