New educational program: Food, Life & Innovation

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - Published by Hein Braaksma
The world of food is in huge movement, as everybody knows. Consumers want to know where their food comes from and what exactly is in it. The influence of food on health and well-being is getting more and more attention. And due to developments, such as CO2 reduction and takeovers of supermarkets, the current food chain is under pressure.

New challenges, new knowledge, new education
The centre of expertise Terra also finds that these issues are mentioned increasingly  in all kinds of collaborations.
Terra means "green" education: it offers courses in the primary agricultural sector, such as livestock farming and arable farming. For the processing of food there are studies for the food industry, such as technology and quality, the restaurant business and the bakeries. There is no training yet which gives attention to the role of nutrition in relation to social issues such as health, food chains and origin of food.
This was reason enough for Terra to start an investigation into the possibilities of a new course. For Terra, it could be an enrichment of their educational offer. Food is green and therefore suitable for Terra's education.

Terra has consulted a variety of companies about how they view this development. Companies have been approached within the entire chain, such as fresh meal makers, logistics companies, health care institutions, producers and supermarkets. From all these sectors it emerged that there is an issue in the above areas, that new jobs arise, but that the knowledge is still lacking.

A program developed with the business community
From here Terra has started to develop the training. The aim is to provide the student with a broad knowledge of the world of nutrition and the developments in it so that he/she can provide information and advice about this. To achieve this, the student runs through five main themes:

- Preparation and Processing. Large and small scale

- Chains and Distribution. Global and regional

- Innovation and transition

- Society and Health

- Food profiling

Ultimately, the student is familiar with the broad world of nutrition and the role of food on the social themes.
The program is a level 4 program and offers good transfer possibilities, for example in higher professional education, such as the Nutrition & Dietetics and Nutrition & Design program.

Terra wants a closer connection with the business community and the regional challenges. In order for this to be actually implemented in the Food, Life & Innovation program, the program does not have a fully developed curriculum, but work and knowledge is done on the basis of cases obtained from the business community. In this way, the student is always dealing with issues that actually play in practice. This is motivating for the student and teacher. The business community has a real influence on what they consider important to be addressed in the training. With that, they are more inclined to use their self more actively.

The mandatory courses such as Mathematics, English and Dutch are offered in full on the basis of the case.
The school remains responsible for education. The case will therefore be translated into the right level and content in consultation with the business community.

Terra has set up a Sector Advisory Board of companies from the entire chain that carry and propagate the training. In practice this means, among other things, that companies can provide guest lecturers, company visits can be organized, internships can be made available and cases can be delivered. In addition to the SAR, there are many other large and small companies that are involved in the development and implementation of the training.
In the training, much attention is paid to personal development, entrepreneurship and development power so that the student has tools to be able to participate in the ever-changing world.
The course will start in the next school year in Meppel, one of Terra's branches.