Research project Towards Sustainable and resilient EU farming systems


General introduction

In SURE-Farm, the resilience of farms and systems will be studied in 11 case studies with the aim of providing insights that can improve the resilience of these agricultural systems. The European agricultural sector is facing many economic, ecological and social challenges. These challenges vary greatly between regions and agricultural systems, and therefore require an appropriate response. This response can be aimed at reducing the impact of a particular challenge, risk or change. However, the response may also require more far-reaching changes, with the agricultural system having to undergo greater adaptations or even a profound reorientation of the system. The extent to which an agricultural system is able to respond and cope with diversity of challenges is also called resilience of the system.

Research approach

The research consortium consists of 16 partners spread across 13 European countries. A very diverse set of methods will be used to gain insight into the resilience of European agricultural systems, in resilience-improving strategies and regulations. These methods are a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. In addition to the quantitative modeling of the impact of resilience-enhancing strategies and regulations, co-creation with stakeholders will be at the core of the overall approach. In 11 case studies spread across Europe, we will search together with stakeholders for strategies and regulations that are tailored to the local context with its specific challenges. The case-study in Belgium is ‘intensive dairy farming in Flanders’.


This project will provide insight into factors that determine both the resilience of the current and future agricultural systems across EU. This will be done by developing comprehensive scenarios of challenges for the agricultural sector and assessing the impact of these challenges. The project will provide effective and useful strategies and decision support tools to the sector. We also look for strategies that make the agricultural sector more attractive to new entrants and future generations.