Over the past months, the MED Food TTHubs partners in the different participating countries were busy organising virtual meetings and events. It was not just the COVID-19 frenzy, when everyone is back from the lockdown and life tries to go back to normal through the new rules on social distancing. For us it was a special moment: we set the premises for the development of our e-platform. To do so, we designed to perform an analysis of stakeholders’ requirements, from this early stage of the project. However, since the final user is placed at the centre of our design process, we could not proceed without the input of our key stakeholders.
This is why each pilot country took care of setting up a Focus Group, leveraging the Quadruple Helix Stakeholder methodology. The concept of Quadruple Helix Stakeholder refers to the four main category of stakeholders we aim to involve to our activities throughout the project, notably: public authorities and policy makers, researchers and academics, industry representatives, and, above all, consumers. These are the people who have the insights into what is most needed, what would benefit the local community the most, what is sustainable and what are the main challenges related to the food value-chain on each participating country.
Therefore, building on the key findings of the in-depth literature analysis on the current state of agro-food supply-chains and the traceability and authenticity processes followed, we resorted to a dual process to motivate key stakeholder communities to express their views. As a first step, we organised a Focus Group meeting in each country, which provided the framework to better understand the whole agro-food chain from farm to fork, shedding light on the interests and needs of local agro-food supply-chain stakeholders based on their experiences and expertise. Moreover, we held an on-line survey to elicit user requirements and facilitate further discussion within the seven Focus Groups, offering a clear identification of the most and least favoured characteristics and services that our e-platform should provide in order to address the agro-food value-chain challenges.
If you are curious to know what happened during the Focus Group in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia have a look here: