SURE-Farm is a research and innovation project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and coordinated by the Wageningen University. Its full title is “Towards SUstainable and REsilient EU FARMing systems”.
SURE-Farm aims to analyse, assess and improve the resilience and sustainability of farms and farming systems in the EU. For this purpose, SURE-Farm creates scenarios and a novel and comprehensive resilience-enabling framework, develops a set of advanced risk assessment and management tools as well as an improved demographic assessment model and a resilience assessment tool for policies, and in conjunction with stakeholders, co-creates and applies an integrated resilience assessment model and co-designs implementation roadmaps. The SURE-farm project comprises six interrelated objectives:
1. Develop a framework to measure the determinants of the resilience of current and future EU agricultural systems.
2. Comprehensively understand farmers’ risk behavior and risk management decisions and develop and test a set of effective and usable risk management strategies and decision support tools.
3. Develop an improved farm demographic assessment tool.
4. Develop a policy resilience assessment tool to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing policy framework (in particular the CAP).
5. Develop an integrated impact assessment tool to make long-term projections towards the effective delivery of private and public goods.
6. Identify pathways towards resilience and non-resilience, and synthesize lessons learned to design an enabling environment and construct roadmaps for implementation, co-created with public and private actors.
The SURE-Farm project builds on concepts of resilience thinking and develops a comprehensive framework to identify the conditions that enable farming systems to become and remain resilient to a broad range of current and imminent stressors. Resilience thinking is essentially systems thinking that emphasizes change, uncertainty, interconnectivity and adaptability. Systems are resilient if they have the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges while maintaining their core functions, including the delivery of their vital goods and services.
At the heart of resilience thinking is the concept of adaptive cycles which has been developed in ecology and which SURE-Farm uses as a conceptual metaphor to understand change in farming systems. Adaptive cycles consist of four stages: growth, equilibrium, collapse and reorientation.
The SURE-Farm activities are organized into nine work packages, whose main objectives and activities are summarized below.