New DEFRA role for N8 AgriFood Chair

A New science research programme has been launched to inform DEFRA policy making, with N8 AgriFood’s Bob Doherty taking the role of Food Systems Fellow.

Professor Doherty, who is N8 AgriFood’s co-chair and academic lead for the University of York, is one of six new academic fellows to be appointed by The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) to lead its Systems Research Programme

This Systems Research Programme, which as well as Food also focusses on Rural Land Use, Air Quality, Marine, and Resources and Waste, will look at some of the UK’s most pressing environmental issues to inform and shape key future policy decisions in Food and farming.

The Programme will be led by Professor Ian Boyd, Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), and will be delivered in close partnership with the research community.

Professor Doherty said: “The UK Food and Farming sector is critical to the UK economy employing 1 in 8 people and being the largest manufacturing sector. However, our food system is under increasing pressure from a range of environmental and socioeconomic drivers not least climate change, increasing health costs from unhealthy diets and increasing political risks.

“This opportunity to work as part of the new Systems Programme team in DEFRA is an exciting opportunity to take an interdisciplinary food systems approach and embed the research evidence from the work of IknowFood, N8 Agrifood and the Global Food Security Programme and others in UK policy to create real transformative change.”