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Future Food Systems

The current status of the agriculture sector is not so much the result of misguided intention, but more of system failure. Our supply chains are long and not always transparent. Our global markets are designed to go for the lowest price, irrespective of the longer-term consequences for the stakeholders involved.

Besides creating mainstream market demand as a driver for change, support services need to be structurally strengthened and rebuilt, national government policies need to be reformed and financial institutions need to learn to look at agriculture as a business opportunity and invest in its modernization.

Transformation of the current system and, in the meantime, Innovation in the current chains and businesses are necessary and taking place.


The fourth year aims to deepen professional knowledge, skills and attitude as well as expand a student’s professional network. In this minor students further investigate production chains and come up with ideas for improvement: ideas that enhance both sustainability and business. The module sheds light on the innovation process and on the transformation into a new system. Students are also stimulated to enlarge their professional network.


The Minor is divided into four main topics:

  1. Transition of a sector or country in a wider system with other stakeholders (government, knowledge institutions, civil society)
  2. Leadership and Personal leadership, and development hereof.
  3. Innovation at process and company (link) level within the current situation.
  4. Domain specialisation; crop, animal, food or biobased economy.

The Minor focusses on the development of the following skills:

  • Project management
  • Research

The Minor consists of various activities:

  • Group projects in which students apply content to a real life case.
  • Thematic lectures on transition and innovation.
  • Lectures project management and doing research.
  • Personal development workshops
  • Domain classes
  • Excursions and field days
  • College tour
  • Individual research


The module targets on level 3 of the IFA program qualifications. All, except 6. And 7. Will be tested on final level in this module.


  1. Improving sustainability of the Global Agri-food system
  2. Applying bio-based & circular economy principles in agri-food systems
  3. Contributing to sustainable innovation in a sector (animal production, crop production or food processing/nutrition)
  4. Contributing to international business development
  5. Providing advice
  6. Networking & influencing
  7. (Self)-reflection and judgement
  8. Project management
  9. Doing research


After successful completion, the student is able to:


  1. identify and tackle issues in international food chains, in the context of food security and with consideration for people, planet and profit. Transition lectures; how are food systems developing and changing in the coming years. What landscape, sector and niche developments are there to see?
  2. analyse processes in food, animal and crop production, and contribute to a long-term and innovative sustainable approach. Innovation lectures; how to organize innovation towards a measurable more sustainable development in companies?
  3. identify opportunities and contribute to business development in developing as well as established economies. Transition lectures; what innovations are happening within a regime, what new niches are developing in these economies?
  4. provide advice on business issues in an organization in the global agro food sector. Domain Research; how toimprove and implement sustainable changes in the agro food sector?
  5. draw up and carry out multidisciplinary practical research related to current topics in the global food system. Group projects; work with a group of students, preferably with a different background, on transition and innovation project
  6. identify, network with and motivate diverse stakeholders in the global food system. Group projects; how to work with diverse stakeholders to implement an innovation or chance within a food system?
  7. critically self-reflect and assess others as well as external information, with the aim of forming a personal opinion. Domain Research; how to do research in a scientific and repeatable way? Leadership; how to develop personal leadership and stand firm in the ever-changing agrofood complex?
  8. manage projects, collaborate effectively and communicate in a multidisciplinary and intercultural context. Leadership; how to know and develop one’s own talents and those of fellows in a group?


HAS students and students of other Dutch institutions:

Propaedeutic diploma, plus a minimum of 45 ECTS of year 2 and a minimum of 30 ECTS of year 3, of which at least one finished internship in year 3.

ECTS are obtained in the IFA program or a related bachelors program in Agriculture, Agribusiness, Food production or Environmental studies.

International admissions:

Three years of higher education on bachelor’s level of which at least 75% has been obtained and in which at least one major practical assignment or traineeship has been completed.

Credits are obtained in a program related to Agriculture, Agribusiness, Food production or Environmental studies. Admissions are subjected to approval by the module team.


Method and Study load (ects)

Transition & Project Management; lectures + excursions 4
Leadership;College Tours, Workshops, Food Experience  5
Innovation; lectures, fielddays                                      2
Domain; Individual Research, Domain lectures               9
Group Project; Transition, Innovation, Leadership, Research, Business                                                    10

Total                                                                 840 hrs


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