The European contribution to solving sustainability challenges in a changing agrifood landscape: a strategic role in bringing together research, business and policy makers
Agrifood is an important contributor to European wellbeing as well as to its social and cultural heritage. Food is vital to human health and wellbeing in a way that the products of other industries are not. As such, this remains the quintessential reason why we attach such profound significance to it. The sector represents a breeding ground for regional stakeholders and business investments. It attracts large sums from private financial actors, commercial banks and private foundations that search continuously for new investment opportunities. New actors are also increasingly involved in the emerging agrifood value chains: new farmers’ organizations, new cooperatives, start-up companies as well as multinational enterprises and state-owned companies. However, the food landscape is changing fast.
Sustainability issues combined with rapid technological developments greatly influence the agrifood sector. Collaboration and innovation in the agrifood value chains are essential in facing global challenges, maintaining a strong global market position and contributing to a healthy and sustainable world population.
IFAMA Europe: a strategic and integrative approach of sustainability issues in agrifood sectors
IFAMA is a multistakeholder organization that brings together academia, government and enterprises in a dedicated triple helix approach to enable the European agrifood sector to provide the world with adequate and nutritious food and related technologies by stimulating research and creating cross-over connections with other industries. IFAMA Europe is to formulate a strategic and integrative approach, a Triple Helix of: Research — Business — Institution grounded with an innovation agenda to help solve the sustainability challenges facing agrifood sectors.
IFAMA Europe highlights four European challenges to which an integrative approach of sustainability could make a valuable contribution to finding solutions:
IFAMA Europe and its challenges for business leaders and policy makers
Agriculture and the food business are mayor employers worldwide and are important pillars of social communities. They influence our well-being by producing, trading, preparing and sharing food. The tension between the fast growth of the world population and the current limits of sustainable food production to guarantee food security around the world is a real challenge. Rapid technological developments and research offer multiple solutions. IFAMA Europe can play a significant role in the development of solutions for these global challenges. This also offers an opportunity to retain a stable share in the global food market.
The ‘jobs of the future’ in sustainable agrifood value chains are related to themes like robotics, big data, 3D printing and new logistic solutions in the circular economy. Innovation and technology are key, so highly educated technological employees are required. Presumably companies in agrifood value chains will demand ‘21st century skills and knowledge’.Main objectives of IFAMA Europe for training: links with academia and young professionals