• EIT Logo
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • EU Flag

Understanding Food Supply Chains in a Time of Crisis

Learn how agri-food supply chains deal with crises and get practical advice on how you can minimise disruption during COVID-19.

4,112 enrolled on this course

A woman arrives with a full bag of shopping at another woman's door
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Explore contingency plans for ensuring food security during COVID-19 in Europe.

Please note this course runs without facilitation

Movement restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus are leading to an increase in food stockpiling, and there are concerns the agri-food supply chain won’t keep up with demand.

On this course, you’ll learn how the pandemic is challenging food supply chains and explore the steps taken by the industry to ensure food security and integrity.

You’ll discover the complexity of the agri-food supply chains and understand its codependency with other sectors such as transportation and packaging.

You’ll also hear from companies making a difference with innovative digital food services and solutions.


  • Week 1

    Mapping of the Agri-Food Supply Chains

    • Welcome to the course

      Find out about what you will be learning, who will be guiding you and how the course is taught.

    • The Agri-Food Supply Chain

      An introduction to which stakeholders are involved in the agri-food supply chains

    • Challenges of the Agri-Food Supply Chain

      Explore some of the challenges facing the agri-food supply chains

    • Robustness of the Agri-Food Supply Chain

      How robust are the agri-food supply chains ? Explore how food that is safe to eat reaches your plate.

    • Review and reflect

      Over the past week, you have explored the challenges faced by the stakeholders of the agri-food supply chains. It is now time to reflect on what you have learnt.

  • Week 2

    Food Scandals and Crisis Situations

    • Week 2

      Hello and welcome to week 2 of the course. This week we will explore food scandals and crisis situations.

    • Food Scandals and Crisis Situations

      There are a number of control measures in place to ensure the integrity of our food chain. However, inadequacies in food quality, safety, authenticity and defence still exist. We will explore these scandals and crisis situations.

    • Contingency Plans for Covid-19

      Covid-19 is a health crisis. However, it has the potential to become a food crisis if suitable control measures are not put in place. We will use the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of how the food industry adapts in an emergency.

    • Consumers : our role and our impact on the agri-food chain and how a crisis influences us

      In this activity we will explore the impact consumers have on the agri-food supply chains, as well as their role and the consequences of a food crisis on the food that reaches their tables.

    • Review and reflect

      Over the final week of this course, you have looked at adaptation measures put in place in response to food crises. It is now time to reflect on what you have learnt.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the stakeholders and reflect on the complexity of the food supply chains
  • Evaluate the consequences of a crisis on the integrity of the food supply chains
  • Reflect on your own personal contribution to the problem and explore how you could contribute to the solution.
  • Investigate how changes in the way we shop, cook and store food can help reduce food waste.
  • Explore the innovations that are helping stakeholders of the agri-food supply chains cope with increased demand
  • Engage with the policies of national governments and the EU and minimise the food supply chains disruptions
  • Explore the control measures in place to ensure the integrity of our food supply chains
  • Reflect on the challenges of bringing food to your plates during a crisis situation

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for all EU consumers and citizens who are concerned about where their food comes from when normal life is disrupted.

It will be of particular interest to anyone looking for reliable information about how the agri-food supply chains ensure that food reaches our plates during crisis situations.

No prior knowledge is required on the subject to follow this course.

The Educator team has limited availability to answer questions or respond to your comments during this course. However, we encourage you to interact and support each other by posting your thoughts and comments and sharing your knowledge with other learners

Who will you learn with?

I am Professor of Food Safety at Queen's University, Belfast and Director of the Institute for Global Food Security

Michaela is a Lecturer in Education working on the development of EITFOOD education programmes. Her background is in food science and research at the Institute for Global Food Security.

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading. I am a food scientist interested in developing new healthy and sustainable foods.

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the School of
Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading.
My research focuses on sustainable agriculture and enhancing fieldwork learning.

I’m a professor in food microbiology at the University of Torino, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences. My research focuses on food safety and microbial ecology of fermented foods.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

Queen's University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast is a member of the Russell Group of 24 leading UK research-intensive universities.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial skills in Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem.

Endorsers and supporters

content provided by

University of Reading

content provided by

University of Turin logo

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...