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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.


The course focuses on:

  • What ‘sustainability’ means and how it applies to farming;
  • How crops are grown in the EU - both arable and horticultural;
  • How livestock is farmed in the EU to produce meat, dairy products and eggs;
  • The challenges of feeding a rapidly expanding global population;
  • The trade-offs involved in financially viable organic, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable production methods;
  • Which technologies are providing the most sustainable solutions.

Who should join the course

Everyone is welcome to join for general interest purposes. It can be particularly useful to professionals working in a role related to the food industry but have no background in agriculture.


The course will be available all year round from 2022 onwards.

Learning objectives and outcomes

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

How to join the course

This course is available on FutureLearn:


Project lead

Julian Park Pic
Julian Park

University of Reading

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