Making agriculture sustainable has been a priority in the EU for some time, with new policies coming into play and growing consumer pressures. The EU funded the FARMPATH (Farming transitions: Pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe) project to help farmers adapt to these changing demands. Twenty-one sustainable agriculture case studies have been completed in various EU Member States. These are now available as reports and fact sheets in several languages. In addition, a network called the National Stakeholder Partnership Groups was created to guide future work. Using literature reviews and EU statistical databases, researchers also found that a lack of young farmers is a misperception. In fact, the presence of young farmers is related to the size of the agricultural sector, as well as profitability. Researchers also found that agricultural innovation often comes from outside the agricultural industry, and suggest that cross-sectorial engagement would improve this situation. A handbook covering various paths towards sustainability was drafted using inputs from scientists, farmers and others involved in agricultural innovation. The team also created a policy brief and an agricultural network to support regional initiatives. The FARMPATH handbook, 'Transition pathways towards sustainability in European agriculture', will help disseminate the knowledge gained during the project to academics, policymakers and farmers.
Sustainable agriculture, farming, farmers, National Stakeholder Partnership Groups, agricultural innovation