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Anne Miller

Dr Anne Miller

Associate Director - Research

Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network

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Blogs

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Winds of change bearing interesting seeds....

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New Director at Rothamsted Research Prof. Acem Dobermann brings a wealth of new potential to the UK according to the announcaments on their website having a "unique multi-disciplinary background which includes biotechnology, breeding, sustainable ecosystems management, climate change, grain quality and nutrition, postharvest technologies, precision farming technologies and social sciences, amongst other skills. He is a champion of public engagement and outreach as well demonstrating an excellent track record of establishing effective public-private partnerships."

Very thought provoking article at his blog:

http://irri.org/blogs/item/is-getting-out-of-farming-the-best-bet-for-smallholder-farmers

 

 

Tackling waste in the food supply chain: short survey request

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The UK’s Global Food Security Programme is currently undertaking a review of waste and what is known about it. Global Food Security is a multi-agency programme bringing together the interests of the Research Councils, Executive Agencies and Government Departments to meet the challenge of providing the world’s growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of nutritious food from less land and using fewer inputs..

 

Increasingly, alongside raising production, managing food’s “demand side” is seen as instrumental in coping with increasing global food insecurity.  An important element of decreasing the demand for food is managing waste better.  

With this in mind Global Food Security have created a survey to capture perspectives on where the major causes of food waste occur, and to identify priority areas of research which may potentially address these issues. This information is important for shaping the research agenda to find ways to tackle it throughout the supply-chain (from farm to fork to bin). This survey only takes 10 minutes to complete and will help build a clearer picture of this complex issue.

 

Click HERE to access the Food Waste Survey

 

 

sent on behalf of Dr Mark Bond

GFS Food Waste Review Project

 

 

 

Event Notification: Pathways to Better Crops

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Date: 6th March 2013

Venue: University of Sheffield

Time: 10:30 to 16:00

 

A network building, knowledge-sharing meeting organised by the Organic Growers Alliance, supported  by the University of Sheffield and the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND:

 

If you’re a grower:• Build a consensus about what needs to be done to solve today’s problems and prepare for tomorrow’s• Help form a research & development strategy for organic horticulture that addresses your issues• Meet researchers and find out what they can do to help your business – explore the possibilities• Learn new skills to help structure your project planning and decision making

If you’re a researcher:• Meet end-users and understand their needs to better target your work and increase your impact• Initiate collaborations for your future funding opportunities

If you’re a supplier to the horticultural industry:• Understand how your business fits into the changing needs of horticulture• Build your links with growers and researchers• Display information about your business

 

WHAT YOU WILL BE DOING:

• Listening to “visions of the future of horticulture” by a leading grower and a leading scientist• Casting your votes to establish research and development priorities for organic horticulture• Learning new techniques for complex decision making• Creating knowledge webs and identifying knowledge gaps for organic horticulture• Learning how science might be able to help solve your existing issues, prepare for the future and confer a competitive advantage• Making new connections and having some fun!

 

WHAT IT WILL COST:

 

 

OGA member (growers)

Book up to 22ndFebruary:  Free (up to £50 costs available on application for travel)

Late booking after 22nd February: Free

OGA associate member

Book up to 22ndFebruary: Free

Late booking after 22nd February: £25

Non-members

Book up to 22ndFebruary: £50

Late booking after 22nd February: £75

 

Register here

 

UK Food Security Research- an urgent request for your help!

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UK Food Security Research- an urgent request for your help!

 

We are currently working with the UK Global Food Security (GFS) Programme to identify key unanswered research questions which the UK Food System needs to address and I would like to ask for your help with this.

If you can spare just a few minutes to read and think about this message and then respond to me directly at anne.miller@esktn.org with your company and contact details, I will make sure that your thoughts are fed into the expert group who are currently engaged on this project, which will ultimately shape future research on food security (*see below for more details on the process).

 

Much of the recent focus in food security discussions has centred on the production of food and key research needs in agriculture. However, GFS are keen to widen this to incorporate activities throughout the food system, from processing to packaging, distribution, retail and consumption of food.  So the focus of this project is on the UK Food system over the next 10-15 years, considering food consumed within the UK, whatever its origins.

 

If you are working in any part of the food supply system please let me know what you consider to be key questions that are answerable by research but for which we currently have insufficient knowledge. The following criteria apply when formulating questions:

 

They must:

- be answerable through a realistic research design.

- have a factual answer that does not depend on value judgments.

- address important gaps in knowledge.

-  be of a spatial and temporal scope that reasonably could be addressed by a research team.

- not be formulated as a general topic area.

-  not be answerable with ‘it all depends’.

- not be answerable by yes or no (i.e. not ‘is X better for food safety than Y’) except if   questioning a precise statement (‘does the earth go round the sun?’).

-  if related to impact and interventions, contain a subject, an intervention, and a measurable outcome.

 

Example questions

These illustrate the type of questions we are after, but please don’t feel restricted to these categories or subjects. This is entirely your call.

 

- What constrains consumer acceptance of substitutes for traditional but scarce/unsustainable products?

- How do you measure the volatility in supply security?

- How do recent price fluctuations in food staples affect the diets and nutrition of the poorest sector of UK society?

- How effective is the sale of grade B fruit and vegetables for reducing food waste and increasing uptake of “5 a day”?

- What are the most cost-effective and efficient ways of capturing low-grade waste heat from the food processing industry?

- How sustainable is online shopping and home delivery compared with traditional supermarket visits?

- What determines the uptake and effectiveness of household organic waste collection?

- What would make a more comprehensive currency than simply carbon for assessing the breadth of ecosystem service values in the UK food system?

- What incentives will encourage farmers to increase the use of buffer strips along water courses to improve water quality?

- How will estuarine fisheries be affected by reductions in nitrogen fertilizer use?

- What are the health implications of using plant extracts to enhance the shelf-life of fresh fish?

- Which microbial monitoring techniques are most efficient and practical for new meat inspection legislation?

- How can we reduce the risk of enterobacteria developing in airtight damp-grain st