Growing practitioner and academic partnerships

Growing practitioner and academic partnerships

With food partnerships flourishing in regions across the UK, there is growing interest and timely focus on driving innovation and best practice in all aspects of a healthy, more equitable and sustainable food system.

Hands shaking to show working in partnershipEngagement between researchers and practitioners working across related themes is also growing.

This engagement can occur on many levels ranging from motivated academics who are personally involved in partnerships through to formal collaboration between universities and partnerships.


N8 AgriFood study reveals vulnerability of the UK’s food supply chains exposed by COVID-19

N8 AgriFood study reveals vulnerability of the UK’s food supply chains exposed by COVID-19

The UK has been left “dangerously dependent” on just two EU countries for its fresh vegetable imports, a new study on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK food system has revealed.

TomatoesThe study, published in Nature Food, also reveals that insufficient capacity in domestic food production, just-in-time supply chains and Brexit-related labour market challenges have all resulted in a weakened UK food system.

Building diversity and collaboration in the food system is essential for resilience in the COVID-19 recovery,


Food Futures and Lancaster University: Growing practitioner and academic partnerships

Food Futures and Lancaster University: Growing practitioner and academic partnerships

Across the N8 university cities, food partnerships have been emerging, growing and flourishing. Academic institutions play an important role in supporting and working in partnership with local initiatives.

Food Futures logo

Over the coming months, we will be sharing stories of how our N8 community is working to develop collaboration locally and exploring the different approaches taken to support this.

In the first of these stories, we hear from Lancaster and their food partnership FoodFutures.


N8 AgriFood academics give evidence to House of Commons International Trade Committee on COVID-19 and the impacts on the food system

N8 AgriFood academics give evidence to House of Commons International Trade Committee on COVID-19 and the impacts on the food system

The expertise of academics from the N8 AgriFood programme has helped the UK Government as it considers next steps for the food system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday 30 April 2020, Professor Bob Doherty, Professor of Marketing and N8 AgriFood Chair at the University of York, and Professor Fiona Smith, Professor of International Economic Law and N8 Chair in AgriFood Regulation at the University of Leeds, gave oral testimony to the House of Commons International Trade Committee.


International Trade Select Committee appoints N8 AgriFood Chair as new Parliamentary Academic Fellow

International Trade Select Committee appoints N8 AgriFood Chair as new Parliamentary Academic Fellow

The House of Commons International Trade Committee has appointed N8 AgriFood’s Chair at the University of York, Professor Tony Heron, as its new Parliamentary Academic Fellow.

For the next two years, Professor Heron will spend two days per week working in Parliament with the International Trade Select Committee, which is tasked by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for International Trade (DIT) and its associated public bodies.


N8 AgriFood launches Sustainable Food Communities Cluster

N8 AgriFood launches Sustainable Food Communities Cluster

Researchers and practitioners working to improve access to sustainable and nutritious food in communities across the North of England are being brought together to form a new knowledge-sharing hub as part of N8 AgriFood’s Sustainable Food Communities Cluster.

N8 AgriFood launched its Cluster initiative earlier this year in a bid to pull together expertise from across its eight member universities in specific areas of food to collectively form a platform with organisations (inc.


Urban Agriculture experts from across the North come together for N8 AgriFood’s first Cluster Innovation Visit

Urban Agriculture experts from across the North come together for N8 AgriFood's first Cluster Innovation Visit

N8 AgriFood’s Urban Agriculture Cluster hosted industry representatives and researchers from across the North of England for its first Innovation Visit.

The Cluster initiative was set up earlier this year to pull together expertise from across N8 AgriFood in specific areas to drive innovation and collaboration with industry.

The Urban Agriculture Cluster was the first to be launched, and this month it held its inaugural Innovation Visit to Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC).


N8 AgriFood Professor leads project helping Syrian refugees grow food in old mattresses

N8 AgriFood Professor leads project helping Syrian refugees grow food in old mattresses

Discarded mattresses that currently end up in landfill could instead be used to grow food for refugees in desert environments around the world, according to a team of scientists, jointly led by N8 AgriFood’s Professor Duncan Cameron.

The team of experts in hydroponics (growing plants without soil) and soil health, from the University of Sheffield, have collaborated with a group of Syrian refugees – many of whom are experienced farmers – to grow tomatoes,


Introducing N8 AgriFood’s Policy Fellow at POST

Introducing N8 AgriFood’s Policy Fellow at POST

Last year N8 AgriFood opened the doors to its first ever Policy Fellowship Scheme, through which one doctoral student was to be given the chance to be sent to Westminster to produce a briefing on Resilient Food System Supply Chains.

N8 AgriFood teamed up with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), which runs a Policy Fellowship process, offering a three-month placement to doctoral students with the chance to gain valuable policy experience.


N8 AgriFood launches Rapid Evidence Synthesis Training programme

N8 AgriFood launches Rapid Evidence Synthesis Training programme

A FREE residential training programme aimed at helping early career researchers translate studies into policy guidance is being launched by N8 AgriFood.

The programme has teamed up with partners at the University of Leeds to host its inaugural Rapid Evidence Synthesis Training, which will see 30 students from across the N8 universities produce policy briefs covering a range of topics within food and agriculture.

The training is being led by world leading evidence synthesis expert Dr Gav Stewart,