Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Agrar- und Ernährungspolitik


ENcouraging Farmers towards sustainable farming SYstems through policy and business Strategies

Laufzeit: September 2022 - August 2026

Mittelgeber: European Union (GA no. 101059589)

Projektleiter: Peter Feindt

Bearbeitung: Diane Kapgen

Projektpartner: Eigen Vermogen Van Het Instituut Voor Landbouw- en Visserij Onderzoek (EVILVO) BE; Conseil Europeen des jeunes agriculteurs AISBL (CEJA) BE; Udruzenje Eko-Inovacija na Balkanu (ABE) RS; GAIA Epicheirein Anonymi Etaireia Psifiakon Ypiresion (GAIA) GR; Groupe Sup De CO Montpellier (MBS) FR; Norsk Institutt for Biookonomi (NIBIO) NO; Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) BE; Institut de l’élevage (IDELE) FR; Teagasc – Agriculture and Food Development Authority (TEAGASC) IE; Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita di Bologna (UNIBO) IT; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HUB) DE; Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau Stiftung (Fibl), CH


Today’s farmers find it difficult to deal with the several lock-ins within food systems that keep them from transitioning to sustainable farming systems. Policies, together with business models and social innovations, need to be strengthened to overcome lock-in challenges. The EU-funded ENFASYS project aims to better understand lock-ins and levers in farming and food systems, as well as factors stemming from the behaviour of farmers, consumers, and other food chain stakeholders. It will test the possible effectiveness of policy and business interventions in European countries and screen 160 current intervention cases. The project will design policy mixes, business strategies, and social innovations that encourage farmers to transform their production systems.

More specifically, ENFASYS aims to stimulate a just and robust transition to sustainable, productive, climate-neutral, biodiversity friendly and resilient farming systems (SFS) by improved policies and business strategies that encourage farmers to change their production systems. In current food systems, farmers are challenged by multiple lock-ins that prevent them to move to SFS. To overcome this and thus to support the Green Deal and in particular the Farm to Fork ambitions, strengthening public strategies (policies) should go hand in hand with strengthening private strategies (business models, social innovations). To reach this aim, ENFASYS goals are (1) an improved understanding of lock-ins and levers in farming and food systems;(2) an improved understanding of behavioural factors of farmers, consumers and other food chain actors;(3) more and better evidence on the potential effectiveness of interventions;(4) a more structured approach to link knowledge to action. To do so, ENFASYS will frame current transitions to SFS and screen 160 cases for current interventions. Through systems analysis, behavioural and experimental studies, ENFASYS will uncover lock-ins from a systemic and behavioural point of view. The potential of policy and business interventions will be tested in 12-15 countries across Europe through experimental studies (discrete choice experiments, framed field experiments and randomized trials) and system dynamic modelling. To link systemic and behavioural insights to action and to understand the impact of the interventions on systems level, results of these studies will be combined into system and behavioural based theories of change. Together with stakeholders and enriched by the research results, ENFASYS will co-design policy mixes, business strategies and social innovations and stimulate their implementation. Strategic communication, dissemination, exploitation and tailored capacity building towards all our target groups, will maximize ENFASYS’ impact.

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