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Food Security

The definition of what constitutes food security is varied but common descriptions include; availability of food (now and in the future); access of consumers to affordable, nutritional and safe food; resilience of the food system to significant disruptions, and public confidence in that system. There are many contributory factors that affect these issues: 

  1. Commodity prices,
  2. Climate change (positive and negative effects),
  3. Fuel/oil/energy,
  4. Water,
  5. Land use (biofuels, leisure, housing),
  6. Labour,
  7. Demographics/affluence,
  8. Health/nutrition transition
We would also add to this
    9.   Pests, diseases and weeds (>30% annual loss globally),
  10.   Technologies


With imports of food to the UK now reaching 42% and a food trade deficit of £13 billion the issue of food security has emerged. The issue has been neglected in recent years (and in other developed countries) due to growing economies and other societal issues being perceived as more important/urgent (climate change, declining fossil fuels, animal diseases).

There are many issues for consideration and action which we inend to explore with colleagues from across the university through internal workshops with invited external speakers, meetings with stakeholders and attendance at conferences.

Academics involved- Liz Dowler (Sociology), Dave Pink (HRI), Rosemary Collier (HRI), Dave Chandler (HRI), Peter Mills (HRI), Andrew Thompson (HRI), Wyn Grant (Politics), Graham Medley (Biological Sciences), Andrew Sentance (WBS), Ian Guymer (Engineering)