Co-creation of a transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable and digital agri-food ecosystem

Policies, strategies, debates | 2023-07-28 | Nunzia Cito

The agri-food sector is a vital part of the European economy and society, providing food security, employment, environmental services and cultural heritage. However, the sector faces multiple challenges, such as climate change, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, health risks, social inequalities and market disruptions. To address these challenges, the sector needs to undergo a profound transformation towards a more resilient, sustainable and digital agri-food ecosystem.

The EU Commission working paper presents a co-created transition pathway for the agri-food sector, based on a participatory process involving a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia. The transition pathway outlines a shared vision, strategic objectives and key actions for achieving a more resilient, sustainable and digital agri-food ecosystem by 2030.

After introducing the agri-food industrial ecosystem, its main challenges and the transition pathway, the document presents the sustainable competitiveness of the agri-food sector, focusing on its economic, environmental and social performance. In other sections, it includes

  • an analysis of the public governance of the agri-food sector, highlighting the role of policy frameworks, regulations and standards, as well as multi-level and multi-actor governance mechanisms.
  • description of the social dimension of the agri-food sector, addressing issues such as consumer behaviour, food literacy, health and nutrition, social inclusion and rural development.
  • presentation of the R&I and technological solutions for the agri-food sector, covering topics such as digitalisation, biotechnology, circularity, precision farming and food safety.
  • outline of the single market and infrastructure for the agri-food sector, looking at aspects such as trade, logistics, distribution and quality schemes.
  • description of skills for the agri-food sector, identifying the current and future skills gaps and needs, as well as the education and training opportunities.
  • review of investments and funding for the agri-food sector, assessing the available sources of finance and funding instruments, as well as the investment gaps and barriers.
  • proposal of key performance indicators for monitoring and evaluating the progress of the transition pathway.
  • outline of the next steps for implementing and updating the transition pathway.

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