Globally the continuing growth of the human population, and its shift from rural to urban based living, is placing enormous pressure on food systems. The response has been focussed on increasing productivity in agricultural production and greater economic efficiency across supply chains. In many parts of the world this has been successful in providing relatively cheap food for people, particularly in urban centres. However, under nutrition continues, and in the last three decades there has been an increasing problem with over nutrition. Both these aspects of malnutrition contribute to enormous problems of non-communicable diseases in people, which is the most important contributor to the burden of human disease and health problems. There is also much evidence that the food systems are the major users of water and land, which in poor regulated situations often lead to poor land use and in the worse situations land degradation. In addition the pressures on food production and marketing has led to the emergence and re-emergence of pathogenic diseases and contributed to problems of antimicrobial resistance. The University of Liverpool recognises these major challenges and has created a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Food Systems (CESFS) which works across the food system from agricultural input supplies, agricultural production, supply chain management and consumer behaviour. CESFS is interested not just on productivity and efficiency of the food system, it works on how food production is driven in terms of crop and animal selection, how the mechanisms of food transport and processing lead to distribution and allocation of food to different socio-economic groups and the behavioural patterns that influence these processes. We work together to find innovative solutions to issues of malnutrition, environment management and pathogen management in order to generate sustainable food systems for ourselves and our future generations.
CESFS major partner is N8 Agrifood and its major projects are Global Burden of Animal Diseases, HORN, Parasite pathogen management, IKnowFood, RUCAPS.
Further information on CESFS can be found here