Food Markets

Increasing the demand for locally-produced high quality food has become a frequent objective of rural development initiatives. However the diversification thrust that it implies is not always easy in a sector forced into intensive specialisation by decades of CAP subsidies. Innovations as diverse as new technology, financial capital, regulations, or new skills have a potential to help make food markets more sustainable. Eco Innovation explores issues of food quality, food markets and rural development through several strands.

Quality locally-produced Irish cheeses

A short exploratory project in the Burren region of Ireland has examined potential eco-innovations in farming methods and barriers to diversification. As part of this research, a farm named Linalla was discovered that has diversified into making quality ice-cream from local products.

Eco Innovation is also a member of the Project Implementation Board of the Euro-MARC project, which aims to assess the perception and interest of European consumers in mountain quality-food products in order to find ways for adding value to mountain food products and preserving rural diversity.

Colin Sage , a director of Eco Innovation, is particularly interested in food quality and the relationship between food and the environment - see the Food Quality page below to find interviews with Colin, as well as information on the Slow Food network of which he is a member, and further information on current projects on Food Quality that are being funded under the European Union Framework Programme 6 (FP6).

The links below also contain information on food cooperatives and the organic food movement, both of which are innovative means of working towards achieving the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development.