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Meet the Researchers: Our Future Food

Tuesday 21 April 2020

University House
University of Leeds

17:45 - 18:00 Registration
18:00 - 19:00 Talks from researchers
19:00 - 20:00 Refreshments and Networking

This event is no longer taking place due to current restrictions on University events as part of measures surrounding the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.


The world needs a radically different global food system which works with nature and provides everybody with access to safe and nutritious food.

Researchers at the Global Food and Environment Institute at the University of Leeds are developing solutions that will help bring about transformative change and create a food system which is socially-just, climate-smart and able to adapt to enhance the future sustainability and habitability of our planet.

At this evening event you will hear about three research programmes that are leading important changes to food production and supply.

Smart agriculture: Professor Steven Banwart, School of Earth and Environment and Professor Lisa Collins, School of Biology

With a growing world population we are faced with the competing demands of increasing farming productivity while reducing the environmental impact of farming practices. Leeds researchers are tackling the challenges to sustainable food production by finding more efficient ways to use water and energy and reduce the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. By adopting an inter-disciplinary approach to address the challenges facing agriculture new solutions, that offer a smarter, enhanced and sustainable future for farming, are being developed.

Mapping the Leeds Urban Food System: Professor Caroline Orfila, School of Food Science and Nutrition

What are your memories of the Leeds food scene? Is it the weekly grocery trip on to buy student staples, feasting on a jacket potato in a Uni café, or treating yourself to a giant Yorkshire pudding pub lunch? Leeds has a vibrant and diverse food culture, and a new multi-disciplinary project at the University is researching how the physical, biological and cultural fabric of the city influences the food habits, health and wellbeing of its citizens. The project is also exploring the resilience of the city’s food supply in the context of the climate emergency, and how research at the University can help develop a vision for a resilient and healthy future for Leeds.

The legal levers which can be pulled: Professor Michael Cardwell, School of Law

As food sustainability moves up the policy agenda, questions have arose as to the role of the law in delivering this objective. In particular, debate has been generated as to the respective merits of ‘command and control’ measures (such as fines for nitrate pollution), incentives (such as agricultural subsidies) and ‘soft law’ instruments (such as codes of practice). Further complex issues surround the extent to which the law can in this context harness the preferences of consumers and civil society.

After the talks they will be time for questions, discussion and networking over refreshments and drinks.

This event takes place during our Big Get Together month when alumni around the world will be championing sustainability and showing their support for the University’s commitment to creating a sustainable future.

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