Inspiration across borders at REFRAME project meeting in Ghent

Friday, December 22, 2017 - Published by Hein Braaksma
Flanders hosted the bi-annual partner meeting 15th to 17th of November 2017 and used this opportunity to showcase food industry and private/public initiatives and frameworks. 13 partners in InterReg Project REFRAME experienced best practices and acquired knowledge that they can apply again in their own European regions.

The start of the partner meeting took place in the historical centre of Ghent. After a small tour around the Butcher's hall a workshop on increased awareness and understanding of each other was led by David Wemel. David Wemel is working for the Hogeschool Vives. The participating partners also visited the following enterprises:

  • Lousbergmarkt where local produced food is sold in an indoor market. The Belgian partners showed an example of how a short food chain has acquired a physical place in Ghent. The Lousberg market was partly realized through the efforts of East Flanders.
  • Breydel, a family business, a producer of prepared meat products, mainly from pork products. The owner of Breydel talked extensively about business innovations in relation to the REFRAME project.
  • Rodenbach, a traditional beer brewer, which has become a major brewer and is now owned by a large international beer company.
  • Huis van de Voeding is a physical place where food innovation is shaped in a triple helix context. Government, education and business come together to work innovatively in and on the food chain.
    De Grenshoeve is a former pig farm where the current owners apply a totally different business concept. The current business concept means that seasonal vegetables, fruit and herbs are cultivated for an annual fee (or membership) that members (mostly families near the Grenshoeve) can harvest themselves. De Grenshoeve works according to the principles of the CSA network.

The Belgian REFRAME partners demonstrate that there are working examples of the idea that REFRAME represents. The concept was partly based on advice from Vives. The example should therefore investigate for the other REFRAME partners to inspire whether such models can also be implemented in their own region.

The partner meeting in Ghent also included a cooking workshop – a dinner cooked by the REFRAME participants - and a workshop about the Online Resource Center (ORC). The formats of the ORC were discussed in groups, which activities will be undertaken to exchange best practices within the REFRAME project and the same to reach actors outside the REFRAME context.