FOX - Innovative down-scaled FOod processing in a boX
When thinking of food production, the image of big factories, often located outside the city, comes to mind. But imagine that a small box much closer to your home can do the same thing. FOX – Food processing in a Box – is a project that aims to develop exactly that; transforming large-scale technologies for processing fruits and vegetables into small, flexible and mobile units in your neighbourhood!
Why focus on fruit and vegetable processing? Europe’s fruit and vegetable sector needs innovative and flexible processing technologies to be sustainable. The FOX project focuses on mobile and flexible processing units of small and medium-sized companies and farmers that offer advanced technology applications.
FOX – Food Processing in a Box is a 4.5-year research, innovation and demonstration project stimulating short food supply chains for fruit and vegetables by applying small innovative mild processing technologies: from preservation to packaging and quick quality control for healthier food production. Furthermore, FOX aims to downscale innovative technologies for juice extraction, low-temperature drying and mild preservation, minimise the use of resources through developing sustainable packaging materials and actively involve local consumers to regain trust in the food chain.
FOX will be deployed in six EU regions, so-called food circles, with considerable fruit and vegetable production. The approach creates business opportunities for regional hubs and provides qualitative processed foods to be indulged by the local community. In addition, it will estimate its environmental, social, business and health impacts. The promotion of the project’s method, as well as the debate concerning policy recommendations, will be promoted by a European Interest Group of small-scale food processors.
Its 25-partner consortium, representing nine EU countries, includes universities, research institutions, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), industries, and associations. Together they will explore the potential of innovative technologies in food processing in mobile containers.
EUFIC’s role in FOX is to lead the group of partners whose focus was on maximising the impact of the project’s results through effective knowledge exchange and communication with a wide range of relevant audiences. To achieve this, EUFIC developed a knowledge exchange platform (i.e., website), produced a variety of dissemination materials and coordinated the communications and dissemination activities through the project’s channels (e.g., e-newsletter and social media).
Moreover, EUFIC has been the partner responsible for developing a communication tool to connect local consumers with food scientists and local producers (FOXLINK app) and overseeing the consumer engagement activities in each of the six regions.
EUFIC also co-organised the Best Practices for Innovation workshops with European farmers, bringing together a different group of experts: farmers, representatives of farmers’ organizations, research institutes, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders. The stories of the guest speakers were recognizable as well as inspiring for the participating farmers. Building a community across Europe, farmers invest in innovations and face some similar hurdles, sharing experiences helped to find solutions and upscale innovations. EUFIC also organises the project’s final conference in Brussels bringing together EU policymakers, the media, educators, agri-food producers (including SMEs), consumer organisations and the scientific community around the project outputs.
FOX Infographic: representing Food Circle 1: Low oxygen juice extraction and mild preservation
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817683
As the leader of and responsible for the communication and dissemination activities of the project, EUFIC oversaw the development and management of its website used to communicate progress to the relevant audiences. It was also accountable for the communication & dissemination tasks of the project, such as:
Communicating & disseminating project results to different audiences via numerous outputs (e.g., infographics, leaflets, (animated) videos) and channels (e.g., website, social media, e-newsletter).
FOX Animated Video: Local Fruit and Vegetable Processing Units
Engaging consumers in the six FOX regions by developing a new web application called FOXLINK, to connect consumers with food scientists and local food producers. The app offers weekly region-specific content and informs about local events and producers. Watch <2min Tutorial Video on How to use the App here.
Co-organising best practices and capacity-building workshops.
Online workshop facilitating knowledge sharing among EU farmers
Developing a communication and dissemination plan for all partners to follow and designing the project’s corporate identity and templates for partners to use at events or when communicating about the project.
Engagement event ‘Food Club’ in Cologne (Germany) inviting FOX partner Fraunhofer as inauguration presentation.
Organising the project's final conference, 'Small-Scale, Big Impact: Innovative Approaches for Local Food Processing', which took place in Brussels on the 26th of September 2023. The event brought together experts from various sectors, including industry, policymakers, and researchers, to explore and share insights on the transformative potential of FOX's Innovative local food processing methods.
Find the presentations, videos of the event and more here.
For further information, visit www.fox-foodprocessinginabox.eu. There you will be able to find all the project outputs.