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From farm to fork – the international launch of the N8 AgriFood Programme

Posted on 5 May 2016

The global challenges of ensuring sustainable, resilient and healthy food supplies for all is the focus of the international launch of the N8 AgriFood Programme.

This innovative programme provides the catalyst for practical collaboration between industry, academia, farmers, government and researchers, and will be formally launched at a two-day summit in Manchester, UK, on 21-22 June 2016.

More than 50 speakers, from the likes of Sainsbury’s, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Co-Operative Group, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) HSBC and the National Farmers’ Union will attend the event.

Attendees will explore the need for a sustainable food system to meet current and future needs, particularly in light of population growth and climate change impacts.

Keynote speakers include Professor Ian Noble, Senior R&D Director at PepsiCo; Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser for Defra; Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security; Keith Gill, food industry pioneer and founder of Phileas Fogg crisps and Dr Emma Hennessey, Head of the Science and Innovation team at the Foreign Office.

During the two days, delegates will explore critical issues such as building resilience in the supply chain, closing the skills gap, antibiotic resistance and integrated food and nutrition approaches through a targeted agenda.

Attendees will also benefit from direct access to funders, new partners in industry and academia, and be able to take part in a series of interactive workshops addressing issues surrounding sustainable food production, supply chains and improved consumption and health.

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York and Chair of the N8 Research Partnership, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to explore new projects and solutions to the main food security, agritech and consumer health issues across the supply chain.

“The N8 AgriFood launch will examine the big issues of the day and provide potential solutions. I look forward to welcoming delegates from across the UK and beyond as potential collaborators and partners”.

Further information:

  • The N8 Research Partnership (N8) is the collaboration body for the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, and York, and aims to maximise the impact of this research base to enable business innovation and societal transformation.
  • The N8 universities undertake more than £650m of research income each year and employ more than 18,000 academic staff, forming the largest research-pooling partnership in the UK.
  • N8 creates programmes involving a critical mass of world class academics which form networks of innovation excellence with partners in other sectors – to drive investment and economic growth.
  • N8’s main areas of research are Urban and Community Transformation – including Policing Research, Urban Living and Arts and Culture; and Agri-Food – including Sustainable Food Production, Consumption & Health, and Resilient Supply Chains. N8’s strategy also focuses on areas of growth notably in Life Sciences, and in Digital Creativity.
  • For more information about the event please visit: and N8-agrifood-launch-2016
  • To view videos about the N8 Partnership, produced by the University of Sheffield, visit:

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