The French food data platform Num-Alim has received the first tranche of state funding under the contract signed in October with the Investments for the Future Program (PIA).
The total of 3 million euros ($3.39 million) from the PIA will support the open data platform to digitize the entire French food chain, including upstream agriculture.
Num-Alim CEO Jérôme François said in a statement on May 25 that the financial support will allow the project to accelerate its development in the short- and medium-term, which includes recruiting around 15 people.
“With Num-Alim, we are banking on an effective and collective response to meet the public’s high expectations in terms of increased information. This requirement will certainly be reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
Num-Alim works with Numagri, the platform for sharing agricultural data that is led by a consortium of key agricultural players in France.
Num-Alim’s main goal is to promote solutions traceability with blockchain technologies. It will be deployed in four stages from 2020 to 2023.
The platform will first digitize nutritional composition and quality information into a database called CodeOnline Food, and at this stage it will also publish a white paper that studies the challenges of product data.
It then intends to cross-reference the data with other sources, including quality benchmarks in the nutritional and sustainable development fields, to present a picture of consumer food choices.
HALAL FOODS IN THE MIX
There is no definitive value of halal foods produced by France but estimates put the industry at least around $6 billion – $8 billion.
France is considered a major halal supplier for European and world exports as well as for its large domestic Muslim communities of around 5.72 million, equivalent to roughly 8.8% of the population.
Using one product as an indication, France in 2019 exported around $101 million in bovine and sheep meats to Saudi Arabia, $13.9 million to UAE, $8.9 million to Tunisia, $2.1 million to Qatar, and $881,000 to Indonesia, according to ITC Trade Map data.
France’s big halal companies include Isla Délice, Oriental Viandes, Réghalal, Isla Mondial, and Douania.
Halal certifiers include Institut Musulman of the Grande Mosquée de Paris, Grand Mosquée
de Lyon, A Votre Service (AVS), and Muslim Conseil International.
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