FixOurFood will look at healthy eating interventions in schools and nurseries, food retailing, food procurement and farming to address issues such as childhood obesity, sustainability in agriculture and global warming. The five year research programme will also look at how regenerative farming - which promotes biosystems health – can help achieve both healthier populations and environment in the future.


The food system (FS) is a complex web of production, delivery, consumption and health; it encompasses the process that it takes to put food on our plate from farm to fork and is heavily influenced by many factors such as the choices we make and the demands we put on the planet.

The current food system is not fit for purpose. There is an urgent need, not to just change elements of it, but to transform it to a regenerative food system (RFS). A RFS spirals up environmental, social and economic benefits with approaches that aim to build beyond sustainable levels. It uses processes that try to find ways of providing food and nourishment for all, improving public health and prosperity while replenishing and restoring the planet.

  • Regenerative Farming: Yorkshire contains 13-17% of the UK’s crop production area (for cereals, oilseed rape, potatoes, field vegetables and glasshouse production), with 10-14% of the UK’s livestock headcount (cattle, sheep and poultry). The variety of farming systems within the region and the diversity of soil and land cover combined with networks of innovative farmers, makes it an excellent test bed for more regenerative approaches.
  • Hybrid business models: The Yorkshire region incorporates diverse elements of food production, supply and consumption. It has the highest concentration of food and drink businesses in the UK and our aim is to improve their social and environmental impact.
  • Sustainable and healthy food for children: Yorkshire is ethnically diverse with significant social and economic deprivation and ill health.  Many areas show some of the worst income deprivation statistics affecting children in England.

Aims and Objectives

So what is FixOurFood doing? Ensuring that this transformation takes place is a huge challenge and we all have a part to play; FixOurFood's contribution is to transform the Yorkshire food system. Yorkshire is of sufficient size to understand the integrated and complex dynamics of the FS while being sufficiently bounded. Through collaboration with it's core partners and multiple stakeholders from across the region, FixOurFood are using the powerful Three Horizon futures tool to inform thinking and set goals in three specific research areas:

  • Regenerative Farming: FixOurFood will explore what examples of RF currently exist in Yorkshire and beyond and what we can learn from them. We will also investigate what the limiting environmental, social and economic factors for RF are and what changes in practice would allow different farming systems in Yorkshire to be regenerative and financially viable. Working with key networks and alliances, our team will look at what practical steps are needed to stimulate shifts towards RF, what the potential is for the associated techniques in the region and if RF could make a contribution to combat global warming if scaled up nationally.
  • Hybrid business models: FixOurFood aims to explore where and what are effective examples of hybrid approaches that coordinate food production to consumption in an economical and  regenerative way. The team is examining what the critical success factors are in setting up, governing, scaling up and managing these models. In addition, they are looking at how these innovations can be enhanced to create new approaches in finance and investment, to create the transformation needed to make hybrid food economies the norm.
  • Sustainable and healthy food for children: The FixOurFood team has a vision where tasty, good quality, sustainable food is the ‘default’ and easiest choice for all children in early years and school food systems. We are moving beyond the concept of equity, towards approaches which seek to provide the greatest benefit to those needing it most.

Related links

FixOurFood Logo

To find out more visit the project website.

To get involved or for general enquiries please contact the FixOurFood team here.

  • Prof Bob Doherty (Principal Investigator)
  • Anthonia James, Operations Director, University of York

  • Dr Belinda Morris, Programme Manager, University of York

Principal Investigator


  • Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London

  • Professor Ioan Fazey, Director of Strategy for the Department of Environment and Geography, University of York

  • Dr Maria Bryant, Reader in Public Health Nutrition, University of York

  • Professor Katherine Denby, Professor of Sustainable Crop Production, University of York

  • Professor Lisa Collins, Professor of Animal Science, University of Leeds

  • Professor Sarah Bridle, Professor of Food, Climate and Society, University of York

  • Dr Michelle Cain, Lecturer in Environmental Analytics, University of Cranfield

  • Professor Steve Banwart, Director, Global Food and Environment Institute, University of Leeds

Transforming UK Food System, Strategic Priorities Fund Programme’ delivered by UKRI, in partnership with the Global Food Security Programme, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, Defra, DHSC, PHE, Innovate UK and FSA.

Related links

FixOurFood Logo

To find out more visit the project website.

To get involved or for general enquiries please contact the FixOurFood team here.