Erasmus+ FIELDS

The Fields approach, starting from current and future trends and skills needed in the agri-food and forestry sectors, develops a European strategy to address major gaps in the agri-food and forestry skills ecosystem. Since agri-food and forestry challenges and opportunities differ greatly across countries, the EU strategy is customized for 7 EU countries. It addresses country-specific actions and training materials, in line with EU quality standards (ESCO, EQAVET, ECVET) to address the mobility of learners throughout Europe.

European agri-food is facing many challenges, the Food 2030 policy highlights the vulnerability of agri-food production due to the globalization of the markets, increasing competition, the price volatility and the economic uncertainty along with the low incremental crop productivity. Those vulnerabilities are stressed by increasing demand for food and feed while environmental concerns and climatic changes generate more uncertainties. Moving from business-as-usual agri-food to sustainable production is a complex process which requires a system approach, including reshaping the role of the agri-food producer: from a mere producer of food and commodities, into “wise manager of the natural capital”. To successfully address and react to these drivers, agri-food and forestry needs new business models and skills.

The identification of existing and emerging skills needs in bio-economy, sustainability and for the use of digital technology, is of paramount importance in order to develop a strategic approach to keep the European agri-food sector competitive and sustainable in the long term. A clear EU sectoral skills strategy is needed to improve risk management, stem the loss of practical skills, improve understanding of new technologies, develop business and leadership skills and bring about a more coordinated approach to skills development. Bio-economy by linking the various actors of the value chain, by making use of new circular economy model, allows to tackle many of the challenge’s agri-food is facing, but proper skills strategy is missing to allow agri-food and forestry producers to address it successfully.

FIELDS is a project structured to achieve a dynamic integration of skills and competences for the agri-food sector into a coherent framework linking knowledge and competition for a successful and sustainable bio based economy. It will develop a comprehensive and sustainable strategy for the feasibility of a skilled agri-food and circular bio-economy fully integrated into the stream of a global food supply chain consistent with the UN SDGs.

The multi-stakeholders approach allows to involve all actors, in particular from the demand side (farmers, Industry, SME) and from the supply side (students, VET providers, HEI), creating a strong link and understanding between them.
The general strategy will be defined based on a deep analysis of the needs, but it will also be put into practice directly inside the project, through the creation of methodologies, curricula and training content implemented through pilot training at the partner's premises, in country languages, to engage the farmers and foresters. To have a larger impact, national roadmaps containing concrete steps and actions will be created to help all stakeholders put into practice the elaborated strategy at EU level.

An Agriculture SSA with a memorandum of understanding signed by 50 partner from inside FIELDS partnership and from outside of the consortia, will be established during the project to build upon the regulatory frameworks and opportunities at EU and country level, while proposing concrete and practical initiatives to address skills challenges, in particular through offering modular training while guaranteeing mobility of workers within the agriculture, forestry and
agrifood industry


Key results of the project:

  • Trend and scenario analysis
  • Skill needs analysis
  • Training methodology
  • Development and implementation of training modules
  • European strategy

(For details and the reports, see - under Documents)