Impact and influence is threaded throughout N8 AgriFood activities. Providing valuable and credible evidence to influence policy and practice change is one of our key priorities.

Traditionally challenges in food production, supply and consumption have been studied and tackled in isolation – and critically, at a national level, responsibility for policy within these areas is distributed across different ministries or departments.  There is now a growing recognition that effective change requires us to look at food through a single, integrated framework – an overarching ‘‘food systems’ approach which encompasses all aspects of food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. A systems approach captures the multiple environmental and socioeconomic drivers acting on different parts of the food system and how these interact to deliver outcomes – enabling broader understanding of the impacts of specific policy goals. We have established an international profile and reputation for tackling problems across the breadth of the food system and, crucially, providing solutions co-designed with stakeholders.

N8 AgriFood aims to deepen and extend its integrated food systems approach and leverage it to influence policy. By engaging in cross-cutting research we provide knowledge and evidence to inform and change policy at local, national and international levels. Through the development of partnerships with businesses we aim to influence food systems practice and finally, we focus efforts to support our academics across the N8 universities to develop their capacity to achieve food policy impact.

Below are key topic areas where our activities have influenced and contributed to critical debates regarding the challenges facing our food system.