Despite the snow, disrupted travel – some experienced unscheduled visits Liège, Luxemburg or Dusseldorf – and a power cut across Ixelles-Elsene, RICHFIELDS was pleased to welcome 16 stakeholders and 12 beneficiaries to the third and final RICHFIELDS Stakeholders’ workshop on the 11-12th December 2017 at the Pentahotel Brussels City Centre (BE).

Stakeholders included individuals with expertise in food including composition and consumption, nutritional surveys and statistics, information and communication technologies, data analysis, law – ethics, data protection and intellectual property.

During the breakout sessions, which addressed issues for Phase 3 (design of the platform), such as data integration and management, business models and governance for the final design, stakeholders were asked to describe the typical user and why RICHFIELDS might be indispensable in the future (2025), allowing their answers to be compared with beneficiaries’ answers during the consortium meeting (Lyon – FR, 6-8th November 2017).







Overall, stakeholders were positive about the need for more accessible consumer-generated data, describing behaviours around purchase, preparation and consumption linked to wider food, nutrition and health research. The typical user is now thought to be food, nutrition and health research(ers), but there is a strong minority that still want RICHFIELDS to interact directly with consumers through some sort of personalised service. The food industry would like to use the data to understand more about their positions in the market, consumer trends, and potential future markets. Everyone wants the data to be high quality, which in practice means acquired using harmonised methods, well-documented (meta-data), standardised (aggregated) data with access to the raw data, which is easy to access, select and interrogate, and they would like the service to be free.

Perhaps most interestingly, there is a tangible shift in the burden of work. Where once research(ers) wanted reliable data, which they would explore offline, there is increasing demand for RICHFIELDS and similar research infrastructures to do the analyses, based on parameters selected by research(ers), so the outcomes can be integrated in publications. This may reflect increasing emphasis on citations, as measures of esteem/ achievement in academia over and above the obligatory expectation of new funding and doing the research.

The next RICHFIELDS event will be the final conference on 18 September 2018. If you are interested in attending or are not able to attend but would be interested in learning more about RICHFIELDS and our activities,
please contact Dr Siân Astley (, visit or follow us at @SciFoodHealth and LinkedIn (