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IFAMA Europe

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:

  • Agrifood product as an essential prerequisite for vitality and healthy living.
  • Sustainable agrifood systems and closing the loop in a circular economy.
  • The power of big data to fuel efficient agrifood value chains.
  • Human capital, indispensable in a changing world.

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’.

The primary objectives of IFAMA Europe Chapter is for training and linking academia and young professionals

  • Development, transfer and accessibility of new and advanced knowledge and solutions for the provision of skilled staff with updated, relevant competences.
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of working in agrifood business for (young) professionals.
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of technology-based education and stimulating schools through to universities to develop education programs fitting the ‘21st century skills and knowledge’ for sustainable agrifood businesses.
  • Identifying and overcoming the barriers that influence the appeal of the food and agribusiness industry to young people in various regions, from primary school through to university.
  • Identifying the educational changes required to enhance the flow of high quality talent into a sustainable agrifood industry.

      Chapter Members:  Click on name to read full bio

      Xavier F.S.M. Gellynck
      Ghent University

      Karen Hamann 

      Maryem Cherni-Aloui

      Loïc Sauvée 

      Jon Hanf
      Geisenheim University

      Constantine Iliopoulos     

      University of Athens 

      Maeve Henchion

      Mariantonietta Fiore

      University of Foggia

      Poznan University of Life Sciences

      Ana Costa 
      Universidade Católica Portugues

      Mirela Rusali 
      Romanian Academy

      Adrián Caldart
      IESE Business School


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