Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption


HORIZON Europe Framework Programme

Deadline: Wednesday 12th of April, 2023

In line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environment‑friendly food system, and in support of the food safety systems of the African Union and the EU, the successful proposal will contribute to the first priority of the AU-EU High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture.

Regional integration, including through greater trade in goods and services, is one of the key aspirations of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to significantly accelerate growth and sustainable development, doubling intra-African trade and food trade in particular. While strong local food systems are a backbone of food security, trade contributes to resilient food systems by balancing between markets. The promotion of trade needs to take a start from the local, national and regional level to integrate food safety practices into all aspects of food production, distribution, marketing and consumption. Food safety is a pre-condition for food trade. It aligns with the recent AU decision to establish the Africa Food Safety Agency to ensure the coordination of food safety at the continental level[1]

Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved African food safety systems,
  • Building blocks for improved food safety in Africa, improving climate, environment and food systems, reducing losses by mycotoxins, enhancing local transformation, local markets and regional trade, while reducing impacts on environment, biodiversity, health and society.


Proposals are expected to address the following:

  • Contribute to a better understanding of food safety in the informal sector by generating data and evidence on trade actors in the informal sector. Improve the understanding of informal trade operations and ways to improve food safety for better access to nutritious food for urban and rural populations.
  • Assess and recommend ways to maintain the informal sector`s participation towards possible integration into the formal food system. Explore ways for its access to infrastructure such as labs to be able to respond and manage the food safety risks along the chain.”
  • Address regulatory aspects, including the risk of over regulation. Develop solutions towards a quality culture from the SME level going forward, including opportunities of better organization of SME in view of lower cost for certification and conformity assessment.
  • Pilot training systems to help the informal sector towards compliance with food safety and quality schemes.
  • Improve tools to improve risk assessment of health risks, including long term risks of mycotoxins. Risk assessment and other evidence should inform the regulatory systems.
  • Contribute towards the development of a food safety strategy for Africa, including monitoring and an early warning system.
  • Contribute to a better understanding how fermentation can reduce mycotoxin levels in food products.
  • Identify solutions and business cases to improve microbiome based approaches such as traditional and new food fermenting, drying and coating processes for reducing food waste and promoting longer shelve lives. Develop approaches for scale-up.
  • Adapting to climate change: reducing increased risks to food safety
  • Implement the multi-actor approach by involving a wide range of food system actors and conducting trans- and inter-disciplinary research including an effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Innovation: Proposals should foresee a space for mentoring and accelerating innovative business concepts, including social innovation and upscaling in view of African or European food business entrepreneurs and start-ups with special consideration of women and the diaspora using cascading funding opportunities. Proposals may involve financial support to third parties e.g. to academic researchers, start-ups, SMEs and other multidisciplinary actors, to, for instance, develop, test or validate developed assessment approaches or collect or prepare data sets or provide other contributions to achieve the project objectives… Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support will be granted. Maximum 20% of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose.

Read more about this funding opportunity .here.