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This chapter presents the multi-scale co-creation methodology used in SURE-Farm to involve stakeholders with the aim of assessing the resilience of European farming systems. This methodology resulted in a wide range of valuable insights and allowed to identify convergent and divergent stakeholders’ perceptions with possible policy implications.
Accumulating shocks and long-term stresses, such as trade conflicts, climate change and deteriorating public trust in agricultural practices have raised concerns about the resilience of Europe’s diverse farming systems. The SURE-Farm approach aims to systematically assess the resilience capacities of farming systems, i.e. regional constellations of farms and other actors that provide a range of private and public goods, using local resources and traded inputs. This chapter introduces the key concepts and outlines the SURE-Farm approach to assess the resilience challenges and capacities of farming systems. It sets the scene for the empirical analyses and synthesizing assessments presented in the following chapters.
This chapter aims to synthesize key findings from the SURE-Farm project. We first discuss possible amendments to the framework to assess the resilience of farming systems. We then review why many of Europe’s farming systems face a formidable and structural resilience crisis. While emphasizing the diversity of resilience capacities, challenges and needs, we formulate cornerstones for possible resilience-enhancing strategies. The chapter concludes with critical reflections and suggestions for resilience-enhancing strategies that comprise the levels of farms, farming systems and enabling environments. We identify limitations of the research and suggest avenues for future research on the resilience of farming systems.
Due to collaborative stakeholder networks and innovations, the arable farming system in the Veenkoloniën (the Netherlands) has demonstrated remarkable resilience. Yet, a greater intensity or new types of challenges can undermine the system’s functioning in the future. We suggest various transformative strategies for maintaining specialisation in starch potato production, while strengthening stakeholder cooperation and facilitating learning activities.
Risk and risk management are essential elements of farming. We show that strategies to cope with risk often go beyond the level of the individual farm. Cooperation, learning and sharing of risks play a vital role in European agriculture. An enabling environment should support cooperative approaches, enable a diversity of risk management solutions and harness novel technological opportunities.
This chapter aims to formulate principles and recommendations for an enabling environment that fosters resilience of farming systems. Principles have been derived from archetypical patterns identified in the various case studies on how actions in the enabling environment tend to constrain the resilience of farming systems.
What exactly is resilience and how can it be enhanced? Farming systems in Europe are rapidly evolving while at the same time being under threat, as seen by the disappearance of dozens of farms every day. Farming systems must become more resilient in response to growing economic, environmental, institutional, and social challenges facing Europe's agriculture. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for enhanced resilience has become even more apparent and continues to be an overarching guiding principle of EU policy making. Resilience challenges and strategies are framed within four main processes affecting decision making in agriculture: risk management, farm demographics, governance and agricultural practices. This empirical focus looks at very diverse contexts, with eleven case studies from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. This study will help determine the future and sustainability of European farming systems. This title is available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
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