Plant breeding is a vital area of focus for future-proofing global food systems to meet the growing challenges of climate change, population growth, and environmental degradation. A new study provides the first multi-stakeholder perspective on plant breeding priorities for future-proofing crop production in Europe. Four groups of stakeholders, including farmers, agri-businesses, consumers, and plant scientists, were surveyed, and the majority identified environmental sustainability as the most important goal for crop improvement in Europe. The survey revealed that improving plant water use, heat stress tolerance, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake, and improving photosynthesis were the most important plant breeding options to enhance environmental sustainability. Overall, the study highlights the importance of taking a systemic approach to plant breeding and considering the needs and priorities of all stakeholders to ensure successful and sustainable innovations.