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The canton of Fribourg launches three agri-food initiatives


19 January 2022

Following the approval by the Fribourg State Council of an economic development strategy for the agri-food sector, three flagship initiatives have been launched with the aim of making the canton of Fribourg a leader in this field.

The canton of Fribourg boasts a solid ecosystem in the agri-food sector. Both agricultural and industrial, with a dense network of agri-food SMEs and leading national and international companies, the canton processes nearly a quarter of Switzerland’s agricultural products. Currently, Fribourg is one of the best positioned cantons to become a key player in the development of concrete solutions in the agri-food sector.

The agri-food strategy of the canton of Fribourg is primarily based on cantonal and regional objectives, but is by its very nature part of a much broader framework, addressing societal, health-related and environmental challenges. The need for a new way of thinking and a coordinated and systemic approach, involving profound changes on the part of all stakeholders in the “food system” is the key to its evolution towards sustainability and a circular economy.

Three flagship initiatives to position the canton of Fribourg as a leader in the agri-food sector

Solutions must be systemic, that is, they must integrate the needs of all stakeholders, including the citizens’. The “Food & Farm Living Lab”, one of the three flagship initiatives of the new agri-food strategy, will make this approach possible and will help develop these solutions.

The second flagship initiative, “Biomass Valorization”, promotes the reutilization of biomass from the canton’s agricultural and agri-food production.

The third flagship initiative, “Agriculture & Industry 4.0”, supports the optimization of current agricultural and agri-food processes using data science as well as the creation of virtual platforms offering better operability and transparency to the parties involved.

Launch of a number of projects in 2022

To ensure that these programs are implemented and further developed, academic and private representatives presented ten projects last September as part of a co-creation process organized by the Food & Nutrition Cluster. The project committee (Copro), with representatives from the Food & Nutrition Cluster of Grangeneuve, the HES-SO Fribourg and the Promotion économique du canton de Fribourg (PromFR), finally chose three projects and two sub-projects.

Copro opted for one project per flagship intitiative and two sub-projects for the Food & Farm Living Lab. It has also defined the structure, governance and specific rules for each of these projects. The goal for the year 2022 is to move forward on the chosen projects.