Agrofood Production and Sustainability


Understand the integrative dimension of agro-food value chains.

- Recognize the challenges of food trade in the European area, from a perspective of global competitiveness

- Know the main threats to food production, from climate change to the pollution of agroecosystems.

- Recognize that food security is compatible with sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

- Framing the global food trade in a circular economy.

- Characterize the agrifood sector in Portugal and the challenges it faces at the global level.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Fernando Henrique da Silva Reboredo


Weekly - 3

Total - 42

Teaching language



Students must have basic knowledge of biology, chemistry,biochemistry


Nigam, P.S. & Pandey, A. (Ed) (2009) Biotechnology for agro-industrial residues utilisation: Utilisation of agro-residues, Springer-Verlag, 466 pg.

Basch, G., Kassam, A., González-Sánchez, E. J. & Streit, B. (2012) Making sustainable agriculture real in CAP 2020. The role of conservation agriculture. The European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF), Brussels, 48 pg.

Noronha T (2016) Setor agroalimentar em Portugal. Conjunturas e abordagens recentes. 1ª Ed., Edições Sílabo Lda. (Lisboa) 228 pg. 

OECD/FAO (2018) OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027, OECD Publishing, Paris/FAO, Rome,

Galanakis, C.M. (2018) Sustainable Food Systems from Agriculture to Industry. Improving Production and Processing, 1st Edition, Academic Press, 442 pg

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures are held using data-show and e-learning methods (use of the Moodle platform). Theoretical-practical sessions consist of analysis and interpretation of case studies. The projects and/or works begin in theoretic-practical sessions through online research about the issues related with the Curricular Unit (CU), existing thereafter a continuous orientation by the Responsible. Students will have access to all the bibliography and materials (power-points, PDFs) used in the CU which will be put on a web-platform. The theoretical and theoretic-practical lectures are complemented with personalized attention in Tutorial classes.

Evaluation method

Continuous assessment in both components: theoretical (50% of the final classification) and theoretical-practical: ( 40%+10% of the final classification).  The assessment will performed through approval in 3 evaluations. Approval with a minimum grade of 9.5 (scale of 20 values)

Subject matter

Human food in the world - from prehistory to current challenges. Advances in food technology - processing, automation and control lines. Global food market and future trends in the face of population growth forecasts.

- Raw materials of plant and animal origin - from production to marketing. Agrifood value chains. Advances in plant and animal biotechnology. The development of new food products - functional foods and food supplements.

- Food trade in the European area - the future of food systems in Europe. The environmental and economic dimension of the Common Agricultural Policy. Precision Agriculture and the use of Digital Technology in increasing competitiveness. Energy efficient food systems.

- General principles of food hygiene - International Code of Best Practice (Codex Alimentarius). Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and guidelines for its application. The importance of quality control and food safety. The monitoring role of the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA). The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) - Annual Report for 2017.

- The main threats to food production and sustainability - climate change, water availability, loss of soil fertility and erosion, pollution of agroecosystems.

- Framework of the food trade in the circular economy - reduction of inefficiencies and optimization of sustainability. Potential solutions and policy recommendations. European Food Research and Innovation Programs - FOOD 2030, Agri Renaissance Project - Interreg Europe and the Horizon 2020 Program.

- Characterization of the agrifood sector in Portugal. Statistical data of the National Institute of Statistics - monthly bulletin of agriculture and fisheries, agricultural census. Classification of economic activities, economic structure, particularities of the sector. The importance of valuing traditional products.


Programs where the course is taught: