The first result of the CEMforSMEs project is finally out, the “Summary Needs Analysis Report on Circular Economy”, which provides a comprehensive view on the current situation and the needs of the Small and Medium Enterprises of the Agrifood sector in terms of management of Circular Economy in their companies.

The publication is the result of the work of the seven partners of the project and collects the views of entrepreneurs and workers in SMEs in the Agrifood sector in the six countries in which they are active: Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Greece and Cyprus.

The needs analysis was coordinated by Progressus and was done with a combination of a desk research to know the general situation regarding ongoing practices of Circular Economy Management in Agrifood SMEs, and a field survey which collected 38 different views of local staff and managers of relevant enterprises.
The survey was conducted both through direct interviews, live or via digital methods, and focus groups involving different representatives of the SMEs.


Through the work done, the following elements were underlined in the Summary Needs Analysis Report:

- A general overview on the state of art of management of circular economy, including changes occurred during the years
- SWOT analysis on the implementation of CE in each country
- The importance of the existence of the figure of manager of CE
- Profile and Skills of a CEM according to the view of the interviewed individuals
- Training needs in terms of skills and knowledge for a CEM in each national context
- Best practices of Circular Economy management in the partner countries

In general, the report underlines the understanding of a need to shift towards a circular economy model, seen as a more effective alternative to the linear production model, when it comes to the agrifood sector. In order to do so, it is important to have within the SMEs figures with a set of competences and education to support the management of such processes, although it is still difficult to achieve this goal, due to the fact that this approach is still quite innovative and requires a relevant amount of resources, therefore it cannot still be applied by all.
For this reason, it is necessary that the growing understanding of modern approaches by the SMEs themselves is followed by a relevant support by the institutions (local, national and European) to provide a good policy context that can facilitate the introduction of circular economy models in the agrifood sector.

In the Summary Needs Analysis Report it is possible to find a first idea on what are the skills and competences to be trained and learnt to run an effective role as Circular Economy Manager, and a series of good practices from the countries involved which underline existing companies applying virtuous circular economy actions in their business.