AHFES, a European project funded by the Atlantic Area programme, aims to improve the overall competitiveness and growth of SMEs in the value chain of healthy food & lifestyles by contributing to enhancing a transnational innovation ecosystem that helps SMEs access to knowledge, partners and markets and align their products and services to consumer needs and expectations.
It counts on the collaboration of 8 project partners to work on these challenges: Clúster Alimentario de Galicia, EIT Food CLC South, BIC Innovation, InovCluster - Associação do Cluster Agroindustrial do Centro, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr.Ricardo Jorge, National University of Ireland Galway, Association du Pole de Competivite VALORIAL and Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association. EIT Food South has an important role in supporting the analysis of current trends and best practices on cooperation for innovation and growth in the Atlantic area, and in the design and implementation of innovation trainings for SMEs.
The rapid growth of industrialization and urbanization had a direct impact on the diet and lifestyles, and globally the health of human beings has been getting worse. Because of the increasing prevalence of chronic, noncommunicable diseases (NCD), the World Helath Organisation (WHO) developed global plans and goals related to the individual's health and well-being. However, health policies refer to decisions, plans and actions implemented to achieve goals for a specific society. In other words, there are health and well-being goals and plans at a European level. As risk factors are different among countries, they are leading to different policies and strategies to achieve a reduction in NCDs in all countries to be global, as it depends on which risk factors are more prevalent in the concerned society . Countries of the Atlantic area had different starting points and different contexts and capacities, so each country is unique and their ways, means and approaches applied will be different.
This research have produced an insight into the strategies and tools to improve healthy food and lifestyles policies. Building on a literature review and information about the existing regional strategies and policies collected by each project partner, and addressing the following topics across the project region: Healthy food and lifestyles, Innovation tools and policies, and Existing support structures, reforms, and trends.
Key learnings have been analysed and are summarised in this document.