WP9: Enhancing food values

Co-ordinator: University of Stirling (UoS)


  1. The overall value and sustainability of food production systems of MSMEs increased through strategic action research based on exploratory outcomes of other work packages.
  2. The contribution of relevant thematic research outputs (LCA, contaminant risk, public health, environmental models, socio-economic) to the knowledge-base under-pinning certification schemes. Iterative adaptation, streamlining and if necessary simplification of outputs facilitated for useful adoption.
  3. The role of project ethical tools including the Ethical Aquatic Food Index (EAFI) evaluated in influencing the standards development process, through impact monitoring within the framework of standards scheme for shrimp, tilapia and pangasius catfish.

Description of work and role of participants

T9.1 Initial MSME stakeholder workshop to review secondary and project R&D reports/ experience and scope problems amenable action research. Participant selection to be based on stakeholder consultations (T2.3, T8.7), review of value chains (T5.1) and audit of existing partner networks e.g. FAO, InfoFish and Seafood Choice Alliance. Asian participants to include small and medium producers, processors, upstream/ down-stream service providers and regulators. European contributions are likely to be involved in technical service provision e.g. health and traceability, environmental services, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Market Information Systems (MIS) (WP10) etc. The consultation process will incorporate Life Cycle Thinking LCT – a more qualitative tool that does not require the thorough data analysis of a full-scale LCA. This will further contribute to integration of life-cycle methodologies (e.g. LCA-WP3, LCC-WP5). The tool will be used to encourage development of simple measures for reducing environmental, social or health impacts, e.g. reducing packaging; recyclable raw materials; improving product efficiency, application of decision-support systems and diagnostic tools for contaminants (WP7 and WP4), product traceability, public health interventions (WP6) etc.

T9.2 Negotiation of group intellectual property (IP) rights agreements for identified action research activities. Consultation process with MSMEs and relevant consortia partners, implemented by UOS and taking into account country-specific laws, norms and cultural sensitivities.

T9.3 Initiation of action research process. Co-opt relevant MSME partners as required and design modifications to existing practice consistent with action research objectives (T9.1). Test changes and evaluate outcomes with participants using participatory impact monitoring (PIM), direct observation and survey-based approaches. One or two cycles of iteration are likely to be feasible within the project time-frame.

T9.4 Interim action research workshop after 6 months of first action research (AS) phase. Sharing of experiences, successes, failures to strengthen the subsequent iterative phase(s). Each project partner to supply video footage of AS case-studies. Outputs used to strengthen iteration of second AS phase where relevant.

T9.5 Review and evaluation of LCA and other project decision-making tools by stakeholders. Through multi-stakeholder dialogues for all key aquaculture commodities, examine with participants at all levels (e.g. producers, traders, retailers, governments, etc.) potential for inclusion of project findings into standards. Revise LCA and other decision-making tools to reflect stakeholder feedback.

T9.6 Evaluation of standards process/ outcomes against ‘ethical matrix approach’ (EMA) and EAFI (WP8). Compare EMA/ EAFI with currently used approaches in terms of costs/benefits, accuracy, and user-friendliness in Asian stakeholder contexts. Through stakeholder interviews and Delphi survey, assess costs and benefits of compliance to different schemes and for adoption of different approaches to certification through species-specific two-way discussion with the project. Results to be evaluated for iterative refinement of ethical tools (WP8) and policy development (WP11) while simultaneously offering increased potential for inclusion of project findings into a market–lead ethical certification scheme. This in-depth activity in an-going forum will to some extent, mirror the wider ranging independent evaluation activity; T8.11.

Deliverables (brief description and month of delivery)

D9.1 (month 24) Workshop report describing participatory action-research agenda

D9.1 (month 36) Report on interim action research workshop outcomes

D9.1 (month 42) Individual reports on action research outcomes produced by implementing WP partners.

D9.2 (month 44) Synthesis report on action research outcomes (UOS).

D9.4 (month 42) Report on six multi-stakeholder consultations within WWF dialogues (two for each shrimp, tilapia and pangasius) to examine the potential for inclusion of LCA and other decision making tools within multi-stakeholder certification schemes.

D9.5 (month 42) Report: Recommendations for refinement of LCA, other models and decision making tools to user friendly status for identified target groups.

D9.6 (month 42) Report: Recommendations for refinement of ethical tools and EAFI

D9.10 (month 42) Report knowledge of needs and mechanisms to achieve effective communication with end users of EAFIs

Photo © Loni Hensler