Innovative technological, organisational and social solutions for FAIRer dairy and fruit and vegetable value CHAINs


FAIRCHAIN addresses the growing need for a significant transformation of current food systems by developing competitive intermediate food chain alternatives adapted to small and mid-sized actors. The main goal of FAIRCHAIN is to test, pilot and demonstrate recently developed technological, organisational and social innovations, realising a shift up to TRL7 and enabling small and mid-sized actors to scale-up and expand the production of affordable nutritious food in competitive intermediate food value chains.

FAIRCHAIN will address the dairy and fruit&vegetable sectors, which hold a strategic economic position in Europe. Both are prone to integrate a large variety of innovations, correspond to an increasing consumer demand for nutritious and healthy food and need to meet the challenge of sustainably delivering perishable commodities to consumers.

FAIRCHAIN will consider the entire value chain. More focus is given to postharvest steps rather than the production step in itself because the power imbalances created in market relationships are mainly attributed to the increasing concentration in the processing and retail sectors in conventional food supply chains.



FAIRCHAIN specifically aims to:

  • Foster the emergence of innovative intermediate food value chains that support the scaling-up of small and mid-sized actors facing unsustainable conventional dominant agri-food system. This requires specific technological, organisational and social innovations as well as regulatory and policy adaptations to widely deliver food in a fair and sustainable way.
  • Inspire and encourage larger actors to down-scale conventional food value chains and better address the growing need of consumers to consume local high quality and safe products. The emergence of intermediate food value chains should put pressure on dominant actors, forcing them to align with best practices in terms of offering opportunities to local suppliers and ensuring an equitable distribution of costs and benefits.
  • In this Innovation Action, Fraunhofer ISI focuses on the development of the concept for a co-creation process to be applied throughout the project, ensuring that a systemic multi-actor approach is implemented in each case study with the aim to collaboratively design innovative intermediate value chains, assess their sustainability, and to demonstrate their benefits.

The objectives of the Fraunhofer ISI contribution within FAIRCHAIN are to:

  • Map all types of relevant innovations and understand their enabling and hindering factors
  • Develop an assessment framework for redesigned value chains
  • Develop a shared vision and a common understanding of which goals should be achieved in the redesigned, innovative, competitive, sustainability-oriented intermediate agri-food value chains from the perspectives of all concerned stakeholders
  • Support the design and implementation of pilot activities in six case studies
  • Support mutual knowledge exchange and learning between case studies and work packages as well as cross-fertilisation between case studies
  • Assess whether the systemic, integrated solutions elaborated in the project achieve these goals
  • Contribute to policy recommendations and dissemination of results



11/2020 - 10/2024


  • European Commission, H2020, call H2020-RUR-2018-2020 (rural renaissance), topic RUR-06-2020


  • Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE) (Coordinator)
  • Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)
  • FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH Graz (JOANNEUM)
  • Universiteit Gent (UGENT)
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V., Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI)
  • Association de Coordination Technique pour l'Industrie Agroalimentaire (ACTIA)
  • Confederazione Generale Dell Agricoltura Italiana (Confagricoltura)
  • Petrel (PETREL)
  • Scaldopack (SCALDOPACK)
  • Sofies Group (SOFIES)
  • Synelixis Lyseis Pliroforikis Automatismou & Tilepikoinonion Anonimi Etairia (SYNELIXIS)
  • Biofruits SA (BIOFRUITS)
  • Cogiterre SARL (COGITERRE)
  • Laboratoires Standa (STANDA)
  • Stymfalia SA (STYMFALIA)
  • ISEKI-Food Association (IFA)
  • Fondation (
  • Société de diffusion internationale agroalimentaire (SODIAAL)
  • Greenyard Prepared (GPBE)