The concept of food systems encompasses a diverse range of elements, activities, and outcomes related to food production, distribution, and consumption. The complexity and interconnectedness of these systems, coupled with their integration with critical infrastructure sectors, expose them to various stresses and shocks that can often occur without warning.

Recent global events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Suez Canal obstruction, have underscored such vulnerabilities in global food systems, affecting millions and escalating acute food insecurity. Additional factors, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and import dependencies for key commodities further contribute to the complexity of ensuring food security.

Shocks and stresses, whether internal or external, have the potential to drastically disrupt what are considered to be the pillars of food security—availability, access, utilisation, and stability. Amidst the increasing severity and unpredictability of such events, there is a pressing need to integrate resilience into global food systems. In recognition of such urgency, the European Union has emphasised the importance of resilience in directives and strategies, including the Farm to Fork strategy and the European Food Security Crisis preparedness and response Mechanism.


SecureFood responds to the need to strengthen food systems and security by adopting an integrated, systems-thinking approach. The project acknowledges the complexity of food systems, treating them as interconnected networks involving various stakeholders, activities, and services related to food production and delivery. Bringing together a consortium of partners spanning the food supply chain, the work of SecureFood incorporates producers, industries, retailers, and entities responsible for coordinating resilience-building efforts at the national level.

The ultimate goal of SecureFood is to create an ecosystem of scientific knowledge, collaborative processes, and digital tools that contribute to evidence-based insights on risks and vulnerabilities in different food value chains. Focusing on key sectors such as grain, fruits and vegetables, fish and aquaculture products, and milk and dairy products, the project aims to safeguard food security both before and during crises.

A pivotal component of SecureFood is the Food Systems Resilience Management Framework, designed with interlinked resilience and sustainability orientations. Additionally, a Resilience Governance Framework adopts collaborative and participatory processes, ensuring successful cooperation between stakeholders and experts. The project’s ecosystem will undergo development, testing, and demonstration in various case studies, including one addressing the ongoing food security crisis in Ukraine’s grain value chain.

In summary, SecureFood addresses the multifaceted challenges impacting food systems, leveraging an integrated approach, digital tools, and collaborative frameworks to enhance resilience, contribute to food security, and promote sustainability in the face of emerging global threats.