• 11 October 2017

£4.9million to further increase resilience and sustainability of the UK food system


The UK’s Global Food Security programme is funding a further £4.9 million of interdisciplinary research to increase resilience and sustainability of the UK food system.

Photo: Jarren Simmons Via Unsplash

The ECI co-ordinated programme will fund five new projects to ensure greater resilience of the UK's food supply from global shocks, environmental and demographic changes, and threats posed by pests and diseases. The projects bring together researchers and food producers, manufacturers and retailers working in several areas; from understanding the role of phosphorus as a key nutrient in crop and livestock production to better understanding of how different landscapes affect crop pollinating insects.

Other research seeks to understand the complex links between dairy production, animal health, and the natural ecosystems upon which they depend, the resilience of beef and sheep production in remote, upland regions of Northern England and Scotland and sustainable economic and ecological grazing, along with the effectiveness of innovative farm management.

The latest funding adds to the £7.2 million worth of research allocated to the programme in August 2016 with projects including research into protecting crops from pests and increasing tolerance to adverse weather conditions.

Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said: "The Global Food Security programme is an excellent example of interdisciplinary research, bringing together a range of expertise across the biological, environmental and social sciences to address the many uncertainties facing the UK’s food system."

"Research is a vital part of our Industrial Strategy, and by increasing funding in this area we are helping ensure the future security of the UK food sector, while reinforcing our position as a world leader in science and innovation."

ECI's co-ordination is led by Dr John Ingram, who said: "The importance of research to help increase the resilience of the UK's food system cannot be underestimated. I am therefore delighted to be able to contribute to this GFS Programme, and very much look forward to working with the research grant awardees and other stakeholders to help maximise the value of this GFS investment."

"Research is a vital part of our Industrial Strategy, and by increasing funding in this area we are helping ensure the future security of the UK food secto"

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