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SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS A. Huyghebaert*, X. Van Huffel 1, C. Verraes 1, L. Pussemier 2,3 1 Staff direction for risk assessment FASFC 2 CODA‐CERVA 3 Scientific Committee FASFC * Speaker: Prof. em. dr. ir. André Huyghebaert Chair of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC Prof. em. Ghent University E‐mail: Food choices are, in addition to food safety and nutritional value, also influenced by other quality attributes such as freshness, sensorial properties, minimal processing, authenticity, sustainability, animal welfare, ethical value and others. The perception of the quality or the image, is to a large extend determining for the preference for a particular food. However, it is evident that economical factors also play a very important role. In an environment where food security is not one of the first concerns of consumers, perception of the quality plays a role in the developments that were reviewed in the symposium of today. For some years there is growing interest in local food production and in the local short supply chain. Consumers are looking for authentic and sustainable food products, associated with a better safety and with other recognized quality factors. The short supply chain has also a better image in terms of social contacts with local producers, ecological benefits such as a reduction in carbon emission, energy expenditure and use of pesticides and fertilizers. For farmers, the short supply chain provides additional income. This particular system is also beneficial for the image of agriculture, especially in an urban context. A direct contact between the local producer and the consumer is a typical characteristic of this distribution system. The marketing of the local food is very often accompanied by an exchange of information about the product and its way of production. The short supply chain is supported by many authorities and is becoming more and more popular. However it is striking that food safety aspects were almost never debated. For this particular reason the Scientific Committee was organizing this symposium with the objective to contribute to a better information of consumers, producers and policy makers. When debating about the short supply chain or about local food production it is important to clearly define the subject. Depending upon the context of the debate, 75

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