COCOREADO is a project designed to rebalance the position of the farmer as an individual actor, as a key player in innovative food supply chains and as a supplier for public procurement. Based on the multi-actor approach and a deep understanding of agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS), the project applies a three-fold approach to maximize impact, relying on ambassadorship, good practices, and a focus on youth. COCOREADO will foster opportunities for young people in rural areas to co-create innovative solutions that overcome current hurdles for farmers and respond to consumer needs, while simultaneously improving the conditions for sustainable public procurement of local and seasonal food. The consortium connects key youth actors including young farmers, college youth, youth movements in an environment that offers support and encouragement to undertake action. A key tool for creating such environment is the COCOREADO Ambassador Training Program. Furthermore, the project involves both academic and close-to-farmers partners across Europe, recognising regional differences and barriers in terms of replicability of good practices and regional opportunities in terms of solutions. Active youth engagement in co-creating solutions remains at the core of the well balanced consortium including three EU-level youth organisations, and is embedded within COCOREADO’s methodologies, thus ensuring that innovative supply chains remain future-proof.
COCOREADO starts with the collection of innovative initiatives that enhance the position of the farmers and improve their connection with consumers. Good practices will be assessed for their replicability and translated into educational materials. Furthermore, user-friendly decision support tools with high potential will be made accessible. Communication and dissemination of good practices and tools will focus on farmers, rural communities, policy makers, actors in the food chain such as chefs and local food processors.