American Univesity of Beirut

What is Clustering and the Role of Agri-Food Clusters in Crisis

In times of crisis, the need to join forces is even greater than in an era of stability. This also holds for companies that are active in the agri-food sector. Cluster organizations, such as Qoot, can play an important role in stimulating new partnerships to combat the crisis situation.

Cluster organizations are a relatively new phenomenon, that are increasingly seen as an effective means to bring sectors forward. In clusters, industry, academia, and governments collaborate to realize common goals. Examples of the latter may relate to, for instance, innovation targets (e.g. healthier sustainably produced foods), human capital challenges (how to get better educated operators in the factories) or the international profiling of products coming out of the cluster. An important guideline is that the efforts undertaken by a cluster organization serve the purpose for a larger group of companies and not so much of a single company.

In order to get useful input about which topic to address, many cluster organizations have a membership base. Real commitment of organizations is often best gained by linking it to a financial contribution to the organizations. As agile, open, relatively neutral organizations (not selling anything themselves), having extensive links with many (also small and medium) sized enterprises, academic institutions and government agencies that can easily cross borders of sectors and geographies, cluster organizations are here to stay and play an increasingly important role in realizing economic and societal objectives, certainly also in times of economic crisis.​

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