Created by the French government as part of its large project “Industry of the Future,” the Smart Food Plan encourages business innovation in favor of an agro-food industry that’s more connected, more competitive and more respectful of the environment and agricultural workers.
The agriculture sector is facing many unique new challenges: citizens are growing increasingly sophisticated in the way they consume food products, demands for food safety are becoming stronger and stronger, and volatility in raw materials markets is requiring productivity to improve.
The roadmap for the project, based on the feedback of more than 530 manufacturers in the field, concretely supports the needs of the industry to innovate toward the food of the future. Its ambition is to build a new industrial supply able to capture a greater market share in France, particularly on the export market by creating breakthrough technologies.
These future industrial solutions are designed to meet five challenges:
- Enhancing the competitiveness of the meat industry
- Opening the market for functional food***
- Being recognized for packaging of the future
- Taking the lead in sustainable refrigeration
- Guaranteeing quality and safety of foods and beverages
The goal is to develop an industry of reference on a global scale in fields of the future where France has excellent resources in research. In 2017, the priority objectives are to recruit 90,000 people for the agro food industry and to modernize 30% of industrial slaughterhouses. Additionally, the creation of 1,500 jobs in 10 years is planned in the production of concentrated proteins for human consumption.
To support this ambitious plan and the French government has launched several bids;
- On functional food funding by $22.7 million
- On competitiveness in the meat industry funding by $57 million
- On innovation and competitiveness of the agriculture as well as the agro-food industry funding by $51 million
- On packaging and sustainable refrigeration
***Functional Food is a Natural or processed food that contains known biologically active compounds which when in defined quantitative and qualitative amounts provides a clinically proven and documented health benefit, and thus, an important source in the prevention, management and treatment of chronic diseases of the modern age.