Food safety is critically important not only for developed, but also for developing economies, where the consumers’ safety is among the primary issues to be considered in food supply chain management. Food safety is getting much more attention as the food production in today’s globalized world is becoming extremely complex. General ecological factors and influences, such as chemicals, pesticides, food hygiene, ethical trade and production, are among the components of a quality standard set. Before food products are ready to be sold on the shelf in the supermarket, a large number of actors are involved to ensure the best possible quality of the food. Often, many producers, inspectors, controllers and distributors are involved, all of whom strive to maintain the high quality standards required in the European Union (EU). The project “The Food Safety Market” (TheFSM), funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 program, aims to provide a technological solution in the food safety supply chain.

TheFSM project consists of a consortium of eleven partners from nine different EU countries, working together on an industrial data platform that ensures secure and efficient data exchange between the various players in the food sector. Existing innovations from ICT SMEs are brought together and further developed by TheFSM in order to create a completely open, collaborative virtual environment. Furthermore, ten pilots will be set up, where food companies and their supply chain stakeholders will test, improve and drive the adoption of the data platform and the linked software tools. The project is led by the Greek food safety specialist AGROKNOW and also includes other top-class industry partners, including the TÜV Austria Group.

The goals of TheFSM project are:

  1. Food safety data interoperability and semantics: TheFSM will incorporate advanced semantic technologies that can enable highly sophisticated data interoperability and integration capabilities.
  2. Multilinguality support for localized food safety applications: TheFSM will offer advanced multilinguality for both textual information and data ontologies, based on the expertise and technology stack of the partners.
  3. Automated and smart contracts for food safety data transactions: TheFSM will offer a multi-sided data brokerage service, where actors like farmers can act as “traders” of their data, that can be used for purposes of certification, product risk assessment and verification.
  4. Real-time processing and big data storage & visualization: TheFSM will incorporate big data indexing, processing and visualization capabilities to support real-time data processing and food risk model execution.

In the ever-changing environment of food safety, the Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law at the University of Vienna ensures the constant provision of legal and ethical support to TheFSM . Their main role is related to the legal and ethical compliance of the project, while their expertise in the fields of commercial contracts, smart contracts, data protection and data management is complementary to the consortium’s expertise.

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