In the next 20 years a dramatic increase in global trade of food and feedstuffs is to be expected. Hence the need is growing for innovative concepts and technologies to improve food safety and
quality standards. The difficulties in reaching global standards are due to complexities in products and processes but also to the dynamically changing organization of the agro-food sector with
its multitude of SMEs, its cultural diversity, its differences in expectations as well as in the ability to serve transparency needs, and its lack of consistent appropriate institutional
infrastructure. Aim of the German Food Clusters is to improve chain wide quality management in food production, to improve food safety, to support quality and hygiene management efforts in SMEs
as well as to improve and harmonise chain wide quality assurance systems.
Only with a sustainable and efficient use of resources the competitiveness of the food sector will be maintained. This is why these issues are top of the list for food producers as well as for
food technology providers in Germany. Saving resources (raw material, energy, water, packaging, etc.) and valorising by-products also helps to reduce production costs. This is another force in
markets with strong price competition. Sustainability and resource efficiency are on the agenda of the German Food Clusters for many years now. Our companies and research institutes offer high
competences in optimising the processes and developing new concepts for resource efficient food production.
Small and medium sized companies characterise the food processing sector. They have fast competences and generate uncountable ideas for innovative products, processes and services. Yet most SME
suffer limited resources so that their competences and innovations remain unnoticed in many cases. This is also true for the collaboration between industry and research. As there is fast
expertise available at German universities and technology institutes, science and business cooperation is a key factor for exploring the innovation capabilities and potentials. Stimulating
cooperation and facilitating the transfer of knowledge between parties in the value chain and from science to business are core missions of the German Food Clusters. We provide access to
knowledge and partners to valorise market opportunities.
Changing eating habits and increasing concerns regarding the quality and safety of food put new challenges onto science and industry. For this reason, the focus of R&D is set on novel
efficient processes for shelf life and yield extension. Besides “minimal processing”, the efficient use of raw materials is a central stage. In various fields of food technology, approaches
towards the utilization of subsidiary flows have been developed recently. Moreover, health and consumers’ acceptance of technological innovation have become key issues for food
The availability of knowledge about trends is the necessary pre-condition for the sustainable development of food processing enterprises. However, this knowledge is only of value if the employees
can successfully transfer this knowledge into process innovations and new products. German Food Clusters have therefore focused on human resource development activities spanning from trainee
education to further training of production workers and tailor-made study courses on bachelor level, addressing the current and future need of food processing enterprises. Apart from delivering
the latest knowledge and expertise the programs use state-of-the-art delivery methods including blended learning as well as full e-learning courses, both in German and English.