Society and regional strategies 2 min

Launch of the European BATModel research project to improve the evaluation of agrifood trade policies

Consumers are increasingly concerned about food quality and safety, environmental implications, how food is produced and its impact on poverty, job destruction and increasing inequality. To address these concerns, so-called “new generation” trade agreements include several features that go beyond traditional trade policies. But economic assessments of regional trade agreements often fail to capture the complexity of agrifood trade policies, especially in the case of major structural changes, such as market concentration and global value-chain issues. Led by INRAE, the European BATModel project aims to improve the economic evaluation methods of agrifood trade policies at the international level. Fourteen European scientific partners will work together over a period of four years, with stakeholders, to develop a tool kit for European policy-makers to better analyse agrifood trade issues.

Published on 19 November 2020

illustration Launch of the European BATModel research project to improve the evaluation of agrifood trade policies
© Martin Damboldt

The new model aims to advance agrifood trade policy assessments in several ways. The first step will be to improve the theoretical foundations and methodologies of partial and general equilibrium models in trade analysis. Based on evidence at the micro level, the project will also improve the understanding and modelling of the impacts of trade agreements in order to identify winners and losers at different levels (Member states or regions) and for different segments of economic agents. Aspects of the distribution of employment, health and working conditions, as well as sustainable development goals, will be taken into account. Finally, the inclusion of the results of econometric estimates into the existing simulation models used by the European Commission will allow a better analysis of the effects of future trade policies.   

A platform for European decision-makers

The establishment of a BATModel platform for the modelling of agrifood trade will add new tools to current analysis methods, in particular the simulation models used by the European Commission for the study of 21st century agrifood trade issues. BATModel will provide a new generation of business models to help the Commission, policy-makers and other stakeholders better take into account methodological issues such as zero flows in trade or those more specific to the agrifood sector, such as non-tariff measures, geographical indications, quality differentiation and global value chains. BATModel is a modular platform which will make it possible to use project results in the future and ensure a long-term impact on society.

Involve stakeholders and share results widely

The BATModel approach is designed to share the approaches and results of the project with research communities, and to involve public decision-makers, the private sector, NGOs and the general public in a process of co-designing case studies, identifying policy priorities and disseminating results.

A BATModel stakeholder platform will ensure close interaction with everyone involved, to deliver and disseminate analyses and make results easily usable.

BATModel at a glance

Coordination: Karine Latouche, INRAE, SMART-LERECO


Teams involved in the project


Funding:  Horizon 2020, Topic: RUR-04-2018-2019, GA n° 861932


Total cost:  €5 M


Calendar: 4 years from September 2020


BATModel Project website: opening soon



Karine Latouche project coordinatorUMR Smart-Lereco



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