TRANSFOP researchers present on-going research at a specially organised session at the AAEA in Washington, in early August (2013).

TRANSFOP Stakeholder Meeting, Brussels, March 2012

One of the key objectives of the TRANSFOP research programme is to foster engagement between researchers and stakeholders where the latter involve both representatives from the food industry and the European Commission. To this end, as well as the research-focussed meetings between TRANSFOP members, there will also be meetings between TRANSFOP researchers and the stakeholder community.

The first annual meeting of researchers and stakeholders was held in late March in Brussels hosted at the offices of FoodDrinkEurope. The stakeholders were represented by FoodDrinkEurope, FoodDrink Federation (Netherlands), UGAL, the European Dairy Association and EuroCommerce, as well as representatives across several Directorate Generals in the European Commission.

The main purpose of these meetings is two-fold. First, to present on-going research, present preliminary research results and discuss issues associated with the dissemination of the research. Second, to get feedback from the stakeholder community about the range of concerns that currently affect the environment in which they operate. There were a number of presentations at the Brussels meeting covering the experience of food price inflation across the EU and other OECD countries, research addressing the process of price transmission throughout the food chain, the use of scanner data to understand price dynamics in retail markets and issues associated with regulation throughout the food chain.

One potential outcome of this meeting is how the research community informs stakeholders of research results. Research papers are often clouded by choices of appropriate techniques, assumptions and tests for robustness while stakeholders and policymakers more generally likely have to depend more on the headline results. One way forward is to provide “Research Briefs” which will report on research results in a more digestible format. As a consequence of this, the TRANSFOP Consortium will be providing regular Research Briefs as the project progresses.

Steve McCorriston
May, 2012

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