The ΩRABBIT proposal addresses the PRIMA thematic area “Agri-food Value Chain”, with specific reference to the topic 2.3.1(RIA5) – New optimized models of Agri-food supply chain systems offering fair price for consumers and reasonable profit share for producers. Therefore, the proposal will contribute to achieve the following priorities, as follows:
|Increasing the competitiveness of small-scale farmers, manufacturers, local distributors and all other intermediate actors in the food chain, by guaranteeing a fair profit share for them
|• Developing specific feeds for the different categories of rabbits (reproducing and fattening) based on the supplementation of flax derived products and algae to reach a higher n-3 fatty acids content in meat as well as to increase the local production of these raw materials.
• Improving the health status of the rabbit in the farm through the growth of a beneficial intestinal microflora that can stimulate the immune system and, as a consequence, can induce a higher resistance to infectious diseases reducing the use of antibiotics and improving animal welfare.
• Making rabbits more fertile to optimize and make more efficient the reference farming systems, also in hot climatic conditions due to “global warming”
|Allowing a better positioning of smallholders in the local and international markets
|• Development of an innovative packaging method (adsorbent pad “bacterial catcher”) and canning of rabbit meat as patè, that may maintain the quality of the new functional food “Ωrabbit meat” and extend its shelf-life allowing a better distribution of the product in the local and national markets, as well as allowing the exportations (to reverse the import trend in the agricultural sector in some Mediterranean countries).
|Empowering existing supply chain arrangements and more transparent relations between actors.
|• Production of a meat of high quality, rich in n-3, an innovative functional food, Ωrabbit meat, that can be produced by SMEs and can link agricultural producers to urban markets contributing to strengthen the local economy, the meat consumption and the human health.
|Improving the direct contacts between market players (supermarkets, out-of-home and consumers, canteens) and the farmers/ manufacturers, respecting the local socio-cultural characteristics of the target groups
|Setting up of the ΩRABBIT Consortium so as to reinforce the cooperation and integration among farmers, feed companies, breeders and research centres (multi-actor approach) in the local communities, thus increasing the capacity of the food chain to compete against extra-EU rabbit producers and, in the meanwhile, assuring quality standards for production, control, traceability and protection of Ωrabbit meat.
|ntroducing organizational innovations based on research approaches that help local clusters and cooperatives to be more competitive are highly appreciated
|Establishment of new knowledge (through collaborative scientific research) and exploration of the feasibility of a new functional food, Ωrabbit meat, (based on this new knowledge), which can represent an innovative solution for agri-food systems, in the direction of responding to the main challenges of the Mediterranean area
|Empowering, through a Responsible Research and Innovation Approach, the climate of creativity of the small farmers/producers/SMEs in the local community
|Disseminating knowledge among small farmers/ producers/ SMEs in the local community about how the feed supplemented with new flax derived products (linen whole plant, linen straw, extruded linseed, linseed bran) with or without algae Padina pavonica”(PP) and “Chlorella vulgaris” (CV), rich in n-3 fatty acids and with a balanced n-6/n-3 ratio, can improve the rabbit meat quality, the reproductive and productive performance, the health status and welfare of the animals
|Promoting the concept and implementation of circular economy and responsible production-consumption concepts
|Creation of a new market and supply food chain (ΩRABBIT Consortium) that groups farmers, breeders and research centres that produce Ωrabbit meat, guaranteeing a functional food which contribute to human health.