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Explore How Farmers Produce Food Sustainably

Gain an understanding of sustainable food production and the challenges that farmers face to offer a sustainable food supply.


Build your knowledge of the processes used by farmers and food producers.

Have you ever wondered what makes food sustainable?

On this course, you’ll gain a better understanding of where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and the associated environmental, social and sustainability challenges for EU farmers.

As well as horticulture and arable farming, you’ll explore meat, dairy, and egg production, as you examine different farming systems. You’ll also learn about the innovative technologies available to farmers to boost sustainability so that you can better understand farming challenges, and how farming relates to your food purchases.

This course will be particularly useful for professionals working in the food industry who have no background in agriculture.

Please note this course runs without facilitation. The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way.


By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Develop an informed and balanced understanding of the complexities of sustainable food production in the EU within the context of the global food supply chain.

  • Investigate how food is produced by EU farmers and explore the trade offs required when considering organic, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable production methods.

  • Reflect on the challenges faced by farmers and how innovative technologies help them to provide a secure and sustainable food supply for a growing population.

  • Evaluate the benefits of different farming methods and apply what you’ve learned to your food-buying choices and working priorities.

Duration & Dates


Audience & Eligibility

Anyone interested in gaining an understanding of EU farming






English, spanish

Registration Open & Seats




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Structure & Modules

Week 1: Sustainability in food production

  • A framework for examining sustainable production
  • Horticultural farming
  • Technology and how it can help

Week 2: Feeding a growing population

  • Arable farming
  • Food loss and food waste
  • Technology and how it can help

Week 3: The future of livestock farming

  • Ruminant production: beef, lamb and milk
  • Monogastrics: pork and poultry
  • Technology and how it can help


Helen Gray

An excellent course, well presented with sufficient depth of material to inform and to inspire further research.

Programme lead

Simona Grasso
Simona Grasso

Senior Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading