European project CO-FRESH kicks off

Co-creating sustainable and competitive European value chains for fruit and vegetables – including protein-rich crops – is the aim of a new European project that begun early October 2020. CO-FRESH, coordinated by CNTA (Spain), brings together farmers, manufacturers, scientists and other stakeholders across the value chain in a shared ambition to shorten time-to market for innovations.

CO-FRESH will deliver techniques, tools and insights for the (re)design of agrifood value chains – developing these at the cutting-edge of technological, social, organisational, managerial and institutional approaches. They will be applied to seven pilot cases, representing different fresh fruit and fresh vegetable chains, including fava beans. In addition, models of collective innovative action, within and across organisations, will be studied.

26 partners from 10 countries

Overall 26 partners are involved, from 10 different countries across Europe. The project will run for 42 months (October 2020 – April 2024), with a budget of €7.5 million.


Shaping the future of food together. Since 2004, Foodvalley NL has been developing and strengthening the Foodvalley ecosystem, an international network of organizations that jointly work on the transition to a sustainable food system. Foodvalley NL, based in the Netherlands, is the independent organization that guides stakeholders through the transition, establishing direction, process, content and speed. It works closely with governments – international, national and regional – and renowned educational and research institutions.

Wageningen Business Management & Organisation

The Wageningen Business Management & Organisation (BMO) chair group specializes in scientific research on innovation and entrepreneurship, the organisation of agri-food chains and inter-company cooperation. CO-FRESH will see BMO conduct a literature study on the critical success factors behind innovative and sustainable agrifood chains, create a framework to investigate the performance of current agrifood chains, and make recommendations for chain improvements. The framework will be applied to analyze over 100 examples of innovative and sustainable agricultural chains.

Pilot study on fava beans

Foodvalley NL will lead, in close collaboration with Wageningen BMO, one of the 7 pilot cases: the fava bean value chain from field to processing to meat analogue end products. New business models will be explored, designed and implemented, enabling more-sustainable and more-innovative fava bean protein products.

Fava beans have the potential to become a game-changer in the field of plant-based proteins. They can be locally grown in Europe, are non-GMO, non-allergen listed, are nitrogen binding and have a high (26%) protein content. Fava beans are currently not grown at a scale large enough to supply the food industry.

In the pilot, industry and academic members of Foodvalley NL, active across the entire chain, will be working together. The project implements the Foodvalley NL innovation development, Protein Shift, and contributes to strengthening the protein transition towards the future food system. Pilot studie naar veldbonen