Work packages

WP 1

The project coordination will ensure the development of the project according to the work-plan and will control the quality of outputs and dissemination of results. The management structure involves the project coordinator, WP leaders and project partners.

The project coordinator establishes a consortium agreement and ensures efficient communication among the partners. Project coordination also includes timely achievement of milestones and compliance including yearly, intermediate and final project reports. The project coordinator organizes a kick-off meeting, two intermediate and a final project meeting to organize the work, share knowledge and results, respond to upcoming challenges, make light adjustment in the project planning and make decisions on issues of common interest. Working meetings with selected group of partners will be organized as well to discuss issues that are of a more specific nature.

The WP1 is divided into the following tasks:

T1.1 Consortium Agreement.

The task comprises the elaboration and negotiation of the consortium agreement between the partners.

T1.2 Planning and organization of project consortium meetings.

The project coordinator organizes all project meetings including careful and timely preparation of the agenda, meeting material and the minutes. The project meetings will include a monitoring and evaluation process. The coordinator organizes also working meetings to discuss specific issues with selected partners.

T1.3 Setting the Advisory Board.

In this task, the composition of the Advisory Board (AB) of the project will be finalized and a “Term of reference” agreed and defined in order to establish the key rules of the AB functioning.

T1.4 Project co-ordination, management, administration, supervision and quality control.

The project coordination requires communication inside the project. Partners will be required to submit an annual status report on progress in their running tasks, as well as a mid- term report. The coordinator is the contact person towards the CORE organic Cofund.

WP 2    

Objective of this WP is to develop a CoP for processors of organic foods and labelling organizations.

The CoP will deliver decision strategies and tools for implementation at operators’ level as well as for labelling organizations. The instruments will be flexibly adaptable to different types and sizes of operation and be adaptable to all types of product groups (generalization). The target addresses the organic principles as they are set up in the organic regulation with a specific focus on high food quality and low environmental impact.

The CoP should be set up as a modern management guideline, built on a horizontal description of criteria for all processes in an organic operation to be addressed. In addition to the chapter addressed in the CoP directly, sets of information, tools and guidelines developed in this project, possible parallel projects and out of already existing material, will be made available.

T2.1. Development of a draft of the CoP

The objective of this task is to develop a draft version of the CoP based on literature available, already existing guidance materials for organic operators, expert interviews, and consultation with standard organizations, researchers and operators. Workshops will be organized to further involve associations of organic processors and organic labeling organizations. A deductive approach from the organic principles to guidelines will be adopted to test alignment (or gap) of the CoP with organic principles and to contribute to adoption of CoP by the relevant stakeholders in the organic community. (Leader: AÖL)

T2.2. Development of the final version of the CoP.

Based on the results of WP3, WP4 and supplemented by findings of WP5 and WP6, a final version of the CoP will be developed and fine-tuned. Operators, associations of organic processors and other stakeholders will be involved by interviews and workshops. The results and their transfer into the final CoP will be crosschecked by the project partners. The final CoP will be implemented through the dissemination activities described in WP7. 

WP 3

The objective of this WP is to contribute to the development of a CoP for organic food processing by using an iterative process of case studies ‘in situ’ at SMEs. This process starts testing the first version of this CoP (workability, practicability, etc.) via selected case studies for vegetable, dairy and fruit product groups ‘in situ’ at SMEs level. This includes decision processes at operators’ level as well as assessments on existing, novel and future food processing that can vary from minimal to high-processing intensity. Moreover, the CoP has to be robust and generic for future technologies, as will be tested by scenario analyses. Next, via a feedback procedure, revision will take place leading to the final CoP applicable by industry for organic food processing.

T3.1. Selection of companies and product case studies for three countries in collaboration with the stakeholder associations Bionext (NL), Organic Denmark (DK), and Synabio (F). The selection process will consider the processing technology, product formulations, packaging, a.o.

T3.2. Testing case studies ‘in situ’ with SMEs on existing and novel food processing. Evaluation of first version CoP for real products and processes (’Living labs’).

T3.3. Perform experiments and scenario analyses for specific knowledge gaps.

T3.4. Transfer of results with recommendations to next version of CoP (WP2). Scientific paper/s will be prepared based on the results of the WP activities and submitted to journals.

technologies, as will be tested by scenario analyses. Next, via a feedback procedure, revision will take place leading to the final CoP applicable by industry for organic food processing.

T3.1. Selection of companies and product case studies for three countries in collaboration with the stakeholder associations Bionext (NL), Organic Denmark (DK), and Synabio (F). The selection process will consider the processing technology, product formulations, packaging, a.o.

T3.2. Testing case studies ‘in situ’ with SMEs on existing and novel food processing. Evaluation of first version CoP for real products and processes (’Living labs’).

T3.3. Perform experiments and scenario analyses for specific knowledge gaps.

T3.4. Transfer of results with recommendations to next version of CoP (WP2). Scientific paper/s will be prepared based on the results of the WP activities and submitted to journals.

WP 4

The objective of this WP is to develop a multi-dimensional assessment framework for organic food processing providing guidance on how to assess organic food quality as affected by contentious substances and processing technologies as well as by alternatives to them. An evaluation carried out according to the assessment framework will provide the scientific basis for decision making on the suitability of processing technologies and contentious substances to be used within processed organic products. Further, it will also allow for improvements of organic food processing and support the development of new processing methods. The assessment framework will be designed in a way that specific assessments can be tailored to different types and scales of operations as well as to all types of product groups.

The assessment of organic food processing technologies and additives requires unique and consistent assessment criteria, which relate to organic food quality (product- and process-related) and further specify the subjects to be evaluated. Besides sustainability aspects, these criteria will especially be focused on sensory quality and nutrition/health aspects. The criteria need to be further characterized by indicators, which describe the criteria. Finally, for each indicator one or several measurable parameters and linked to them appropriate assessment methods need to be defined that allow for the quantification of the indicators. All the data on assessment criteria and their related measures compiled during the project for specific product-technology combinations will be made publicly available via the project webpage.

T4.1. Identification and compilation of product- and process-related assessment criteria together with suitable measures related to them.

Results of this task will be based on literature review, stakeholder consultation workshops, and surveys among stakeholders. The definition and development of indicators, its parameters, and assessment methods will be based on literature review for those criteria for which indicators and parameters have been defined and for which consensus already exists among stakeholders. In the other cases, expert surveys and stakeholder workshops will be carried out to get consensus on applicable measures.

T4.2. Development of draft assessment framework

Based on the results from Task 4.1 and in close exchange with researchers and stakeholders a draft assessment framework will be developed and included into the draft version of the CoP (WP2) and together with the CoP tested in case studies (WP3).

T4.3. Development of final assessment framework

Based on the results from the case studies (WP3) and the consumer studies (WP6), which possibly have an influence on the choice of assessment criteria, the draft assessment framework will be refined to the final version and integrated into the CoP. The results of the activities performed in this WP will be used also to prepare scientific papers to be published on journals.    

WP 5

The objective of this WP is to gather market data and information about general organic food market trends and the role of different processing technologies and processed food quality categories for the future organic market development.

The findings of the market surveys will contribute to the development of appropriate processing categories / criteria - both in the direction of processors (WP2) and also support the design of consumer studies in WP6. The gathered information will contribute to the consideration of market actors about potential benefits and harms of each type of food processing and provide the basis for future research on composition of organic high-processed products, and their differences or similarities to conventional high-processed foods.

The collection of market related data and information bases mainly on a literature review and one comprehensive survey, which will be tailored to processing sector experts, organic processors and retailers. For the aim of the survey, products will be classified according to their degree of processing.

The results of the survey will provide major information about the relevance of the processing technologies for channel listings on retailer level and decisions in the product development made on the processor level. Moreover, it is expected, that decisions on the communication strategies of processors will be influenced by the main findings of this WP.

T5.1. Literature review

A literature review will provide the basis for the elaboration of the questionnaire for the market survey in T5.2. The literature review will cover the recent role of organic processed food in the whole organic food baskets and the role, which different processing technologies play from a marketing point of view. Furthermore market trends in Europe will be gathered in compiled, which indicate the direction of preferred/accepted processing technologies from a processor, retailer and consumer point of view.

T5.2. Market survey.

A comprehensive organic market survey will be conducted, dedicated to sector experts at European level, as well as to organic processors and organic retailers in five partner countries.

Products will be classified according to their degree of processing, based on the extent and purpose of industrial food processing. This approach will support the aim to gather the market data in order to group (organic) foodstuffs according to (industrial) processing standards.

T5.3. General conclusions and recommendations.

Based on the results of T5.1 and T5.2 general conclusions and recommendations will be derived, which supports the process of the final revision of the CoP (WP2).

Results of WP5 will be relevant for the finalization of some activities in WP6. Finally, the main findings of T5.2 and T5.3 will result in a report and an internal discussion paper. Scientific paper/s will be prepared based on the results obtained in this WP.    

WP 6     

The objective is to identify consumer preferences for and acceptance of processing technologies of organic food.

The focus will be on the processing technologies applied in the case studies (WP3). Given the usually low level of knowledge by most consumers, the effect of specific information on product processing in building consumer preferences will be analyzed. Trade-offs in consumer preferences between naturalness and convenience, taste and others will be pointed at. On this basis, effective ways of communicating organic food technologies to consumers will be identified, with emphasis on defining communication strategies and tools for organic food processors.

T6.1. Identify consumer knowledge and preferences of selected food processing technologies and trade-offs between different organic foods attributes.

In order to better understand present status of consumer opinion on organic food processing, Qualitative - Focus Group discussions (FG) will be conducted (in Germany and Switzerland).

T6.2. Assess consumer acceptance and preferences in a quantitative research step.

Based on the outcome of T6.1 relevant food products and technologies will be identified in line with WP3. The effect of information on processing technologies will be tested by experimental auctions (in Germany and Switzerland).

T6.3. Analysis of the role of cognition and emotions in decision making for careful processed organic food.

The task will be finalized based on outcomes from T6.1, T6.2 and some cues from WP5. The specific objectives are to assess the importance attached by consumers to different carefully processed products and the related attributes and the magnitude of consumer cognitive consonance as well as emotions produced by additional information on product processing related to organic products. Choice-Modelling experiment in multimedia and multisensory immersive environment that reproduces a purchase/use situation will be used. The relative importance of a set of products characteristics and purchase/use situations on consumer perception will be determined by Conjoint analysis model. Consumer emotional response to the stimuli will be measured by neuroscience tools. To be conducted in Italy.

T6.4. Analysis of consumer acceptance of foods produced using different processing technologies in a typical retail setting.

The objective is to study consumer acceptance of food processing methods in connection with the foodstuffs or food groups. A number of foods (a) in alignment with the selected case studies, and (b) providing a suitable range of existing, novel and future food processing methods per foodstuff will be picked out. Market test methods will be used. In particular, multi-store visits (in Germany) with consumer product tests.

T6.5. Conclusion on strategies and tools of communicating different production technologies including an extrapolation on technologies not explicitly tested in this project.

Scientific papers will be prepared from the results of WP6 tasks.

WP 7

WP7 acts as the main interface between the project and the outside world concerned directly and indirectly by the project and its outcomes. Target groups are academics, policy makers, labelling organizations, organic food producers and processors, packaging producers, retailers and consumers with a clear focus on processors and labelling organizations.

T7.1 : Dissemination and Communication activities

All project participants will creatively seek opportunities to communicate on the project and disseminate the research results by developing and implementing an appropriate dissemination strategy and supportive materials for the communication plan.

  Communication and Dissemination activities will aim at:

  • Creating and publishing the public communication and dissemination materials making accessible all public information used to promote the results and support their expected impact.
  • Articles for general audience and public disclosures – 3 articles at least for consumers/processors/retailers will be published in different languages.
  • Shaping and updating messages to the identified different dissemination targets and getting feedback.

The project public website will be set-up for the external communication with all the usual information and tools such as project and partners’ description with contacts, newsletters, leaflets and videos updated during all the duration of ProOrg. Information material will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish languages and also translated to other languages from Eastern European Countries.

Activities will be mainly focused on the organization of workshops and meetings targeting the stakeholders, consumers associations and civil society for CoP presentation and promotion.

T7.2 : Communication about the CoP

The CoP will be disseminated to scientists, food industry, food packaging producers, food policy makers, labelling organizations - across Europe. The CoP will be available on the ProOrg website in several languages and promoted with communication material (newsletters, leaflets) by all partners and Advisory Board members of ProOrg during the duration of the project.

T7.3 : Stakeholders evaluation workshops

Every year an interactive workshop/Demo day organized by project partners in the participating countries and gathering all stakeholders interested in ProOrg activity will be arranged in order to introduce and discuss ProOrg state of art and results. These evaluation workshops/demo days will allow feedback from the different stakeholders. These events will be set up in close collaboration with the European and National Technology Platforms on organic food and farming and Food for Life as well as IFOAM-EU. Moreover, a workshop at the world’s leading trade fair for organic food Biofach will be planned and organized.

T7.4 : Sustainability of ProOrg activities

ProOrg website will be maintained and updated after the end of the project.