The new General EU Food Law sets the frame for food production in member states and beyond. However, it is not the task of national but of regional authorities and local government structures to enforce it throughout Europe:
- Public authorities are currently undergoing a restructuring process to fulfill their new tasks in food inspection;
- Public authorities want to provide guidance to manage their new responsibilities implementing the "stable to table approach".
Both tasks which require an interregional co-operation of public regional authorities and affiliated organisations in this field are not supported by the Common Agriculture Policy. The overall objective of the RFO is to promote the "innovation, implementation and internationalisation" of the stable to table approach (PromSTAP) as a way to improve the effectiveness of regions' policies and instruments for regional development and cohesion through exchange of experience and intensive co-operation in the field of food safety and quality. The project idea derives from ongoing InterregIIIA activities of public and private actors from the food sector in NL-DE border regions that have revealed considerable potential for improving project based co-operation between European regions in food safety and quality. Participating regions from DK, F, NL, I, BU, CH and DE share the importance of innovative and safe food production competeting jointly on the world food markets. PromSTAP will benefit from well established regional partnerships between private and public actors. Partners involved have experience in interregional co-operations or Structural Funds financed operations. Three overall thematic priorities have been identified for the project:
- Promoting Public private partnerships supporting the implementation of new approaches in food safety and quality;
- Promoting innovations and flexibility of Small and Medium Enterprises in food chains in fast changing markets and legal environment;
- Improvement of integrated food safety and monitoring systems in international food chains.
Actors from the partner regions will be invited within an "open call for proposals" to apply for project funds. Supported by the results of competitively selected sub-projects (at least17 sub-projects) the partners will jointly elaborate new policy approaches and best practice guidelines adaptable to the economic, administrative and legislative differences in different EU regions. To ensure an efficient knowledge transfer the “Information and Integration hall” develops best practice guidelines, manuals and an open web-based information platform documenting project results and arranges meetings to strengthen the interregional co-operation. It is expected that PromSTAP will develop solutions that aid for the future design of regional structural fund programmes.