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In Naples, Italy's first course in sustainable food system

Presented at Federico II University, it will train specialized figures to face the new "agrifood challenges"

Italy's first master's degree program in Sustainable food system arrives. Officially presented at the Portici campus of Naples' Federico II University, the course will train specialized figures to tackle today's "food and wine challenges," from food production to consumption. 

The course, included within the Food Science and Technology class, was presented in the Chinese lecture hall of the Department of Agriculture, in the prestigious venue of the Palace of Portici: the same one where, in 2018, the first degree course in Mediterranean Gastronomic Sciences had been inaugurated.

An educational path, the one desired and supported by Rector Matteo Lotito and Danilo Ercolini, director of the Department of Agriculture, which has not only innovative aims, but also aims to break numerous patterns even at the level of educational organization. In partnership with national and international bodies and companies, the course "will prepare students to face current and future challenges in the field of sustainable food production, distribution and consumption, training a professional figure that companies have great need of and that is currently lacking".

Students and professors will, in fact, address "sustainability issues" together with experts in the field such as:

  • Teodoro Miano, secretary general of Ciheam-International Center for High Mediterranean Agronomic Studies; 
  • Stefano Pascucci, professor in Sustainability and circular economy-University of Exeter; 
  • Licia Colò, television host and science popularizer; Sara Roversi, president Future food institute; 
  • Nicola Lamberti, environmental popularizer.

What is meant by Sustainable food system is quickly said. One can speak of "sustainability" of a food system when its functioning is organized in such a way that not only current food security is guaranteed, but also that coverage for future generations is not compromised. To call itself sustainable, a food system must be profitable and economically viable, have societal benefits and a preferably positive, or at the limit neutral, impact on the natural environment. 

A food system encompasses "the full range of actors and their interconnected value-added activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products of agricultural, forestry or fisheries origin and parts of the broader economic, social and natural environments in which they are embedded". 

The sustainability of food systems, let's not forget, is at the heart of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim, as of 2015, to be not only more productive but also more inclusive "with respect to poor and marginalized populations", environmentally sustainable and resilient, and able to provide healthy and nutritious diets for all.

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EFA News - European Food Agency