On the 18th and 19th of June, the JRC Foresight organised a workshop on the Future of Farming in Europe. About 30 participants attended this workshop, with a good balance between researchers, farmers and other stakeholders in the food chain. The key question on the table was straightforward: what will farming look like in 2040 ? The answers to this question was, as one can expect, very diverse.
The workshop offered the opportunity to think out of the box and realize the added value of the various farming systems in Europe. Some groups developed the profile of farmers with a highly intensive business in 2040 whereas others deepened into the profile of new entrants. All ‘think tables’ were composed of farmers, researchers and other stakeholders. This allowed mutual learning and closing gaps between research and practice. Although it is not possible to draw specific messages from this exercise, it is clear that there are many challenges ahead for farmers in Europe. There is the need to innovate continuously and invest in new organisational structures, more sustainable processes and healthy products.
We had the opportunity to bring results and insights from the Newbie project to the discussion since four Newbie consortium members attended the workshop: Andries Visser (Wageningen University), Irma Potocnic (Ljubljana University), Thomas Curran (Teagasc) and Tessa Avermaete (KU Leuven). Furthermore, our expert board member Bruno Macias – new entrant in France and Spain – also joint the workshop.