Système U

The Future of the Food Industry with Système U

With Système U, we conceptualized and launched a new school to train students to work in the food industry: the École de la Nouvelle Alimentation (the School of New Food) opened its doors in September 2020.

The brief

To tackle the shortage of food professionals in the retail sector through an initial training program.


The food industry is under pressure: Companies are looking to hire employees but are experiencing significant recruitment difficulties, most often stemming from a lack of candidates and well-trained individuals. Meanwhile, the French government introduced the Professional Future law allowing companies to open their own training centers and push back the maximum age of apprenticeship to 30 years. It was in this context that Système U reached out to Possible Future: to respond to the shortage of candidates by creating a modern training program that meets the aspirations of its candidates.

Our solution

An innovative training program to develop tomorrow’s butchers, supporting them on their journey from orientation to apprenticeship all the way to their professional life.


We created the École de la Nouvelle Alimentation, a network of four Apprenticeship Training Centers (or CFAs, in France), to train future food-industry professionals. The school was launched in September 2020 with four CAP Butcher pilot programs. In September 2021, the school opened up to all food-industry professions. There are several aims at the heart of our mission:


Respond to the new expectations of apprentices and consumers

During our exploration phase, we dug deep into the image problem that food-industry professions, and their associated training programs, have. While these businesses have been reinventing themselves for years in order to adapt to changes in consumption, training programs have struggled to keep up with the same level of transformation. Both in terms of content and form, they don’t quite meet the expectations of candidates and their communities to overcome prejudices and make these professions truly attractive career paths. This tension is perfectly illustrated by the butcher’s trade. The profession suffers from a negative image, even though it can potentially bring meaning to the professional lives of a number of candidates, and it is positioned at the heart of today’s food issues. Despite its potential, the CAP Butcher program has been slow to follow trends and has not been updated since 2010.


We wanted to take the opportunity to modernize and rehabilitate the image people have of the profession via the École de la Nouvelle Alimentation, by bringing both the content and the form up to date:


  • A training program that encompasses a variety of subjects in line with the renewal of the profession and current consumer trends: a trade module to acquire the fundamentals of CAP Butcher knowledge, as well as additional modules to advance the skills required in butchery, including agro-ecology, culinary and nutritional advice, and financial management.
  • An agile training program via a one-year apprenticeship, which meets the needs of new students and people changing careers; this offers them the possibility to enter the job market quickly, or to continue the courses in BP.


Make training accessible

In order to offer training that is geographically close to trainees, we built the École de la Nouvelle Alimentation as a network of institutes throughout the different regions of France. The courses are thus split between the institutes and a network of local experts:

  • To acquire the basics of the trade, each institution teaches the CAP Butcher courses.
  • Additional modules are taught by local experts: farmers, U trainers, technicians, etc.
  • The search for an employer is also facilitated by a platform that connects apprentices and retailers, in order for candidates to find the recruiters closest to them.


Guarantee professional development in one’s trade and beyond

Vocational training is often perceived as a “dead end,” offering few prospects for development and fulfillment, yet these issues are essential in the orientation of young people. To guarantee their development, the initial training program has been designed according to the existing continuing education program at U, in order to guarantee the continuity of one’s education. The training also focuses on the discovery of other food-industry professions, as well as those of management. This diversity allows each apprentice to progress to positions of responsibility, or to alternative paths, should they wish to do so.

The result
  • One strategic vision of training opportunities around food-industry professions ;
  • Three positionings pitched mid-project in line with our opportunity territories ;
  • Direction chosen: a school in partnership with local tradespeople to teach the technique and strengthen the key skills of the trades ;
  • Testing the value proposition in the field at student fairs, and online via targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram ;
  • Support throughout the project, and up to the launch of the school, in coordination with other partners for the construction of the curriculum and legal elements ;
  • Launch of 4 pilot programs for the CAP Butcher in September 2020


carried out with butchers, apprentices, companies, and trainers to build our training program


partners in 4 regions of France to provide training


received to do the CAP


for the start of the 2020 school year