27/10/2015. GILearn is coming to its end

At the end of October is going to be held the last meeting of GILearn in the headquarters of ainia in Valencia. The aim of the meeting is to make a balance and defines the last conclusions of the Project. The agenda of the meeting includes a last review of the evaluation reported by the participants in the course and summarized and analysed by each partner in its own country. As a result of the meeting, the main conclusions and possible improvements to be implemented in further versions of the courses will be defined. Finally, the next steps of the GILearn Project will be also defined, focus on the sustainability of the Project. The exploitation of the Project will be also discussed and stated by the Partners.

12/10/2015. GILearn was present at the EXPO 2015 in Milan at the “World General Assembly of Geographical Indications”

The GILearn project was presented at the “World General Assembly of Geographical Indications”, which took place on the 12th of October in the “Padiglione Italia” at EXPO 2015 in Milan. The event was promoted by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies. During the event, key international organisations and stakeholders discussed the most important issues concerning the analysis of trends and developments in the Geographical Indications system. The event represented an important opportunity to introduce the GILearn project to an international public.

23/09/2015. GILearn was present at 37th AGROFOOD SECTOR GROUP MEETING

On the 23-24th September was held the meeting of the Agrofood Sector Group meeting in Wroclaw, Poland. The specific topic faced during the meeting was healthy food, including eco food, functional food and traditional food. During the meeting, a brief of the aim, methodology and main results of the GILearn Project was presented within the section in the program Innovation II: Learning from my colleagues & sharing experiences. The Project was presented by Julio Carreras (ainia), coordinator of the group. This Sector Group brings together business experts from regions with a high number of AgroFood companies. The aim is to help SMEs in the sector innovate and grow internationally. Agrofood Sector Group belongs to the Enterprise Europe Network, which aim is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make the most of business opportunities in the EU and beyond.

04/09/2015. GILearn was present at the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium

The 23-27th August 2015 was held the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is the most important world meeting in the Sensory Sciences discipline. In Pangborn come together scientists, students, sponsors and companies and it facilitates new contacts which may initiate new collaborations and new networks. The poster entitled Consumers’ knowledge on protected designation of origin of food products –a cross cultural study was presented by the UCP-ESB. The poster showed the main results obtained of the Training Needs Analysis Report. You can have a glance of the poster in the Documents section of the website (PUBLIC DELIVERABLE REPORTS).


Starting next September 7th it will begin the version of the course GILearn for the French public, with limited number of student given its pilot character.

As in previous calls, the course will be online and the objective will be to convey the value of food products with Designation of Origin to the general public. If you want to know more about the methodology, contents and other practical information, click here.

27/07/2015. Implementation of the course in Italy

The "PDO for Consumers" e-learning course in Italy has achieved a good success in terms of participation and interaction of the trainees involved in the project.
36 of the 45 participants admitted to the training have followed the activities, included the last part of the programme focused on the guided tasting of the Italian PDO hams selected as samples for the sensory analysis. In order to allow the trainees to conduct the guided tasting, a "tasting kit" containing samples of the selected PDO hams has been provided by the project organisation to each participant. Presently, the trainees are sharing comments and feelings on their experience of tasting on the forum and through emails, showing how the e-learning training can be an effective and useful format to enhance the knowledge of consumers on the topic of food quality related to the products with Geographical Indication.

24/07/2015. Piloting Training Consumers in PDO in Portugal – Cheese

Piloting the course on Training Consumers in PDOs raised a significant interest on the different consumer segments, an interesting result for a course in a validation phase of its design and development. The implementation of the course in an open course format, following a blended methodology and based on the Moodle platform did include a quite participated guided tasting session on a sensory laboratory facility at UCP-ESB – Porto. More than 30 participants were enrolled and followed the course topics. The course has a special focus on Portuguese PDO Cheeses that were selected from different origins across the country, including the Islands. A major challenge to be faced by the course offer will be related to the high value learning experience, the guided tasting session, which should have a limited number of participants to be more effective. The course design and specification has been accepted for a communication in the major world conference on consumer and sensory science, Pangborn that will take place this August in Sweden.

24/07/2015. Training Consumers in PDO matches a key strategic need in Portugal

The course on Training Consumers in PDOs was a major success and raised a significant interest on the different stakeholders. The course, and the project context, have been announced in different media (web, social, video, rollups, etc.) and different channels (web, specialized, presencial, etc.) and in different events: seminar on consumer behavior, course sessions on food quality, food safety, regional development, ). The valorization of endogenous food products is very well aligned with the major strategic development area for the North Region of Portugal – Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3), and also for other, associated with the Agro-Food Products and Sectors - the local specialties that could play a key role in the local development, the competitiveness of territories, the contribution to qualify the touristic offer, and the capabilities of food products for exportation (along with intrinsic cultural and regional identity values).

15/07/2015. Implementation of the course in Finland

Implementation of the Moodle course has ended in Finland on May. Participants, mainly from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä are now on holiday and more needed information from them is collected in August. In August starts also the course information collecting and the report making about WP5. Luke is the WP5 leader. There is a plan about the report content and its extent will agreed with other partners. Luke will also have presentation 29-31. August in Denmark, in Nyborg, NMKLs (Nordic Committee on Food Analysis) annual meeting in its sensory evaluation part.

18/06/2015. Experience of the pilot of the course in Spain

The piloting of the course has ended on 18th June in Spain. It has been developed without incidences and with an active participations by students, who have interacted through the forum, asking doubts and sharing their opinions about different aspects of the course. The online tasting has been considered very interesting and, in general terms, has been considered as highly satisfactory. The participation in the presential tasting has been also highly useful. All in all, the course has been considered very well valued.

15/06/2015 - GILearn was present at EXPO 2015 in Milan in the meeting “General State of Italian Geographical Indication”

On the 15th of June the meeting “Stati generali delle Indicazioni Geografiche Italiane” promoted by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies took place in the “Padiglione Italia” at EXPO 2015 in Milan. During the meeting the main topics concerning the analysis of trends and developments of the sector of Italian Geographical Indications were discussed at the presence of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies and with the participation of the main stakeholders. Qualivita has participated presenting the new edition of the “Qualivita Atlas” of Italian GI products. GILearn was present at the event delivering the dissemination materials to more than 200 participants.

27/04/2015 – Implementation of the course in Portugal

Implementation of the Course “Introduction to PDOs” oriented towards Consumers started in Portugal on the 27th April 2015. It started with a presential session looking forward the full involvement of the participants on the online learning program, based on the Moodle Platform that will took place during the following weeks. In Portugal the Course will have a focus on Portuguese PDO Cheeses that are distributed across the country including the islands and while quite appreciated are not disseminated and well know either by the Portuguese, the European and the International Consumers. The course will have the collaboration of the National Association of Dairy Products (ANIL) and an Association of Producers (Ancose) of one of the most emblematic Cheeses in Portugal, the Serra Cheese.

16/04/2015 - Workshop with PDO Regulatory Boards

GILearn project has been presented during the workshop "Sensory Tools for Responsible tasting panel Regulatory Boards", organized by AINIA in Madrid. About 30 entities including corporations, foundations and Regulatory Boards and the National Accreditation Body (ENAC) participated in the workshop whose aimed to bring the sensory tools as well as the requirements of the Standard17025, explaining how detailed the importance of tasting panels in DOP (product specificity, ...) and providing the tools to address all phases of their constitution: selection, training and quality control panel as well as the development of the record tasting, sensory tuning method, etc.

16/04/2015 – Implementation of the course in Italy

The “Introduction to PDOs” course oriented towards Consumers started in Italy on April 16th 2015. Thanks to a widespread promotion campaign launched by Qualivita (including a special edition of the Qualivita newsletter, a Facebook campaign and the involvement of specialized food and gastronomy educational centres), more than 80 applications to participate in the course were received; 45 applicants were selected and have now started the course. The section of the program (Module II) dedicated to guided tasting will start in the last week of May, and will focus on six Italian PDO hams.

14/04/2015 – Implementation of the course in Spain
Implementation of the Course “Introduction to PDOs” oriented towards Consumers started in Spain on the 14th April 2015. The first part of the course shares the same structure as the rest of the courses for the other countries involved while the second part is based on a specific PDO product: olive oil. Therefore, participants will perform the guide tasting with 6 PDO olive oils represented different areas of production within Spain.

13/03/2015 - Implementation of the course in Finland

Implementation of the Moodle course started in Finland 13th March 2015. It started with each participant personal presentation why there are joining the course and with a basic level test. Each week one Topic by time was introduced and FAQs, Short quiz and Test part were gone through by the participants. Luke tutor controlled daily what was happening in course, encouraged and helped participants with activities and also informed other tutors. Now the course in Finland is in a stage that Module II, PDO product from Finland is going to be start soon. 27th March will be the day when Finnish PDO product (reindeer meat) guided tasting will be organized. Most of the participants are from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä.

05/03/2015 - Next Step: Spring 2015 – SAVE the TIME for the first Course Editions

GILearn project team will launch the first editions of the innovative courses oriented towards Consumers based on Local PDOs, that will raise their awareness about the value and differentiation of those products, namely on what concerns their sensorial characteristics.

05/02/2015 - GILearn was present in the Workshop: The senses and the Virgin Olive Oil

AINIA organized a workshop “The senses and the Virgin Olive Oil” last 05/02/2015. It was a workshop that brought together consumers and experts in the tasting of Virgin Olive Oil, companies, cooperatives and experts in gastronomy to address the sensory quality of this product and its essential role in Mediterranean cuisine. It was tasted different types of Olive Oil (Extra, Virgin and Olive Oil). About 150 people assisted the workshop, during which the GILearn project was present by presenting the project poster.

01/02/2015 - Improving knowledge of PDO and PGI products to promote their value – Mauro Rosati, Director General of Qualivita Foundation

PDO and PGI products recognized by the EU are a heritage, amounting to more than 1.250 products (2014).  Today this EU System has new challenges to face: the promotion of the environmental, social and economic sustainability of agricultural and food production processes. One important area is increasing consumer knowledge of PDO and PGI products. As the “Europeans’ attitudes towards food security, food quality and the countryside” (Eurobarometro, 2012) survey shows, only 15% of Europeans were aware of the PDO/PGI logos, confirming that there is a huge information gap. Similar results were found in the GILearn project. Focus groups made up of consumers from each partner country, showed that the higher the level of knowledge of PDO products, the greater the willingness to include these products in their eating habits.

30/01/2015 - GILearn was present in the International Workshop: Changing Consumer Behavior to Promote Healthier and More Sustainable Diets

GILearn was present in the International Workshop: Changing Consumer Behavior to Promote Healthier and More Sustainable Diets, held in Porto, at UCP-ESB on the 30 of January 2015.
The Workshop included a keynote speaker, Kees de Graaf with a presention on “Sensory Science and Health, Wellness”. De Graaf is professor in Sensory Science and Consumer Behaviour, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University. The workshop was quite well participated with more than 60 persons from education, research and industry organizations. ANIL, on of GILearn Local Associated Partners was present, and the event was also a relevant opportunity for networking in areas relevant for Consumer Science and Consumer Behavior.

15/01/2015 - Training Consumers on PDO – the program

The course program was specified to introduce Consumers to the products with denomination of origin, from general concepts and framework, to the issues of authenticity and quality. Particular relevance will be given to the sensory evaluation of PDO Products.

Module I: Introduction to PDO
Topic I – GIs products: an overview
Topic II – EU framework – policies and legislation (PDO, PGI, TSG)
Topic III – Authenticity
Topic IV – Quality of PDO Products
Topic V – Sensory Evaluation of PDOs

At Module II, in different countries, different POs were select, like Cheese, Ham, Olive Oil or Reindeer meat, and the Module will include as Topic I – an introduction to the select type of PDO in each Country, then the presentation of several types of those products, and will end with a Topic on Sensory Evaluation, that includes a remote tasting session. It is being evaluated to perform a final session about the sensory evaluation of PDO guided by experts.

01/01/2015 - Metodology for Training Consumers on Products with Denomination of Origin (PDO)

The Training Consumers on PDOs was designed to be delivered in a blended learning approach: part of the course will be fully implemented based on an e-learning platform (the Moodle learning management system); and another part, associated with the tasting experience, will be delivery off-line. This was also a result of the in deep training need analysis carried out.
The methodology approach will be focused on promoting Collaborative Learning, using different tools of the e-learning platform to be exploited to support interaction and collaboration, with trainers but also between consumers, fostering the development of a specialized learning community engaged on PDO, from culture, to taste and consummation.

25/09/2014 - GILearn present on the International Congress – Technologies and Services for the AgroFood Sector

GILearn was present in the International Congress – Technologies and Services for the AgroFood Sector that took place at CNEMA, Santarém, between 25 and 26 of September of 2014.
The Congress did include a Brokerage Event where different national and international projects were present, organized by Agrocluster Ribatejo and Inovcluster, looking to foster development of the AgroFood Sector and increasing the added value of the products and their ability to contribute to the European exports.
The project raise interest in different producers associated not only with PDO but also with products where sensory evaluation is seen as a key area of added value.

More info:

10/12/2014 - Next step, the e-learning course is now under construction!

The GILearn group is now working on the Development of a training programme and materials, the WP4 part of the project led by ESB-UCP, the Faculty of Biotechnology in Porto and Portuguese partner of the project. The working group is focusing on designing the programme of the e-learning course.

The course will be activated in the spring of 2015 and will be open to at least 30 participants for each partner country involved in the project. The methods of enrolment and any selection criteria will be announced in the near future.

01/06/2014 - using the TNA results to win the challenge of the GILearn Project

The five critical factors that emerged from the TNA

  1. Gaps in information on the products.
  2. Expert consumers prefer to buy PDO products directly from the place of production or from trusted producers.
  3. Consumers often attribute partial value to the PDO mark.
  4. The proposal of an on-line training course in the sensory analysis of PDO products is often met with scepticism, as sharing the experience of tasting, which has to be real and not virtual, is given great importance.
  5. The added value of the denomination is not always clearly perceived by consumer

14/05/2014 – Strengths and weaknesses of the PDO system: the stakeholders’ point of view

The interviews show that stakeholders recognize the distinctive characteristics of PDO products as the main strength of the system. As a result, the most insidious weakness is consumers’ low level of awareness of the PDO mark and its significance, due to the lack of communication initiatives and effective, widespread promotion.
The lack of recognition of the specific characteristics of PDO products leads to them being less competitive and to them being pushed out of the market, thereby jeopardizing the level of production and consequently the loss of a cultural and gastronomic heritage. In response to this, strengthening communication and information targeted at consumers was identified as a major opportunity to promote the value of PDO products, a result that confirms the strategic importance of the "knowledge" factor in the development of the GI system.

29/04/2014 - Helsinki Meeting

GILearn second meeting was held in Helsinki at the end of last April at Vikki University facilities after the first half year of the project. The meeting lasted one day of work during which the results from the Training Needs Analysis were given by QUALIVITA. Besides, programme and contents of the course were discussed, dissemination activities revised and the website of the project presented.

14/04/2014 – Perception of PDO products and consumer habits: the importance of the “knowledge” factor

The higher the level of knowledge of PDO products and their characteristics, the greater the willingness to purchase them.
In fact, the expert consumers pay much more attention to the overall quality of the product, associated with the raw materials used, to the territory of origin, to the guarantees offered by controls and the label, and are therefore more likely to buy PDO products. On the contrary, the choice criterion for non-expert consumers remains the price, which is also indicated as the main reason why PDO products are not purchased, as they are generally perceived as more expensive.

31/03/2014 - The Training Needs Analysis has come to an end: more than 80 consumers and 25 stakeholders involved in the first stage of the GILearn project

The TNA was developed during the first six months of the project and was completed last April. The results, described in the final report, represent the guidelines and reference elements for designing an effective e-learning training course.
The activities carried out enabled us to involve more than 80 consumers, consulted through 2 focus groups conducted in each partner country, and 28 subjects between Regulatory PDO Boards and other stakeholders in the sector, questioned through in-depth interviews carried out in each country. The TNA was an important first opportunity to present and introduce the project to primary target participants and to evaluate the level of interest in the proposal of a training course on Geographical Indications.

21/11/2013 - GILearn project offers “guided tastings” for consumers

The more innovative training activity foreseen in GILearn project consists on a new concept of “guided tasting” of PDO products. This new approach allows participants performing the tasting of PDO products at home following indications for a proper completion. Therefore, trainees will be able to appreciate the particular sensory characteristics of PDO products. 

21/ 11/2013 - KOM was held in Valencia

GILearn Kick off Meeting was held in Valencia last November at ainia facilities. The KOM lasted one intense day of work during which the following agenda was covered:

  1. project overview given by the coordinator, including financial and managerial topics,
  2. overview of each workpackage given by the respective leader, contributing with its personal vision of tasks and activities foreseen for each one,
  3. presentation of Moodle platform as the platform for the training and
  4. discussion and conclusions.  

Especial focus was done in the activities foreseen in the Training Needs Analysis workpackage, discussing about the details of performing the methodology proposed, the profile of people to involve, etc. Besides, a first tentative structure of the courses was described.

01/11/2013 - Project presentation

GILearn - Consumer Learning to Enhance the Knowledge of Products with Geographical Indications - is a training project for adult learning in protected designations of origin (PDO) products: its main objective is that European adults gain the knowledge for the identification and valorisation of PDO products and specifically, their unique sensory characteristics.

Secondary objectives of GILearn project are the promotion of PDO products and the preservation of traditional manufacture processes and the sustainable production.


GILEARN PROJECT - Consumer Learning to Enhance the Knowledge of Products with Geographical Indications
Lifelong learning programme