PUREFOOD was a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework PEOPLE program. The objective of PUREFOOD was to train a pool of early-stage researchers in the socio-economic and socio-spatial dynamics of the (peri-)urban and regional foodscape. Specifically, the projects focused on three key aspects of the so-called new food geography: sustainable food supply chains, public sector food procurement practices and (peri)-urban food strategies.


The new food geography is characterised by new relations between the public sector, the market (food provision chain) and civil society with key roles for new actors and actor constellations (e.g. urban consumer groups, new food movements, new food chain actors, city and regional governments, food industry platforms). There is an urgent need for enlarging empirical data, elaborating theories, analysing examples, identifying opportunities and barriers and for facilitating knowledge exchange among researchers, policy makers and practitioners to further the development of sustainable food systems.


PUREFOOD aimed to fulfil these needs by training 12 early stage researchers (ESRs) for three years within the emerging fields of sustainable food supply chains, public sector procurement and urban food strategies. The research and training programme had two objectives:

  1. Transfer (disciplinary) scientific knowledge and skills between complementary groups, giving ESRs the broadest and most thorough education (i.e. interdisciplinary, methodological and theoretical), which would not be possible at a single establishment, and
  2. Interactively develop scientific and professional knowledge and skills through a ‘learning-by-doing and doing-by-learning’ approach. This objective will be achieved by setting up Communities of Practice (CoPs) of researchers, food industry partners, municipal and regional authorities, NGOs and interest groups centred around the proposal’s main themes: sustainable food supply chain, public food procurement, and urban food strategies.

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