The agrifood industry is facing growing pressure to produce more food, in a more sustainable way, at a time of significant environmental and regulatory change.

Working with key stakeholders in the agrifood industry, we support interdisciplinary research to design new solutions to improve food security for everyone.

Research in this area aligns to the UN's goal of improving farming practice to ensure security around access to food, as well as the UK Government's focus on food security and the protection of agriculture through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Research theme aims

  • Developing global research into food systems resilience and sustainability 
  • Designing integrated solutions to deliver improved food security across the food system

Key focus areas

  • Sustainable food production – developing resilient crop varieties and low-cost agricultural technologies. Influencing governance, investment patterns, regulation and food policy. 
  • Supply chain resilience – working with stakeholders in food production and distribution to develop models to identify pressure points. Designing solutions to improve food security. 
  • Food and the consumer – evaluating food purchasing behaviour and its effect on health and waste production. Exploring food waste reduction or reuse methods and influencing behaviour.

Research Outputs

A range of resources including reports, policy briefs and research publications have been produced by projects supported by or linked to YESI.

Related links

Research Theme Co-Lead
Professor Bob Doherty

Research Theme Co-Lead

Professor Tony Heron

Project outputs

Integrating knowledge for food systems resilience (IKnowFood) (Read more)
All research outputs

Food fraud project (Read more)
Tse, Y. K., Zhang, M., Doherty, B., Chappell, P., & Garnett, P., 2016. Insight from the horsemeat scandal: exploring the consumers’ opinion of tweets toward Tesco. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 116(6), 1178-1200.

Chappell, P. J., Tse, Y. K., Zhang, M., & Moore, S. R. (2017). Using GPS geo-tagged social media data and geodemographics to investigate social differences: A Twitter pilot study. Sociological Research Online, 22(3), 38-56- Was awarded the 2018 Sociological Research Online SAGE Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence.

Tse, Y. K., Loh, H., Ding, J., & Zhang, M. (2018). An investigation of social media data during a product recall scandal. Enterprise Information Systems (Accepted, Forthcoming 2018)

Resilient Food Systems (Read more)
Policy brief 1 (PDF , 1,531kb)

Policy brief 2 (PDF , 1,086kb)

Policy brief 3 (PDF , 1,204kb)

Policy brief 4 (PDF , 1,072kb)

Policy brief 5 (PDF , 1,123kb)

Resilient rice (Read more)
Singh, K.S., McClean, C.J., Buker, P., Hartley, S., Hill, J.K., 2017. Mapping regional risks from climate change for rainfed rice cultivation in India. Agricultural Systems. 156, 76-84.

Barik, M., Dash, SK., Padhi, S., Swain, P., 2017. Effect of drought on morpho-physiological, yield and yield traits of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) derived from wild species of rice. ORYZA- An International Journal on Rice. 54(1), 65-72.

Green, H., Broun, P., Cakmak, I. et al. 2016. Planting seeds for the future of food. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 96(5), 1409-1414.

Barik, M., Dash, SK., Padhi, S., Swain, P., 2017. Effect of drought on morpho-physiological, yield and yield traits of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) derived from wild species of rice. ORYZA- An International Journal on Rice. 54(1), 65-72.

Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) (Read more)
All research outputs 

Additional resources

Brexit agri-environment policy brief (PDF , 657kb)

Brexit fisheries policy brief (PDF , 1,433kb)

Bryce D. Stewart,  Charlotte Burns,  Adam P. Hejnowicz, Viviane Gravey,  Bethan C. O’Leary,  Kevin Hicks,  Fay M. Farstad &  Sue E. Hartley, 2019. Making Brexit work for the environment and livelihoods: Delivering a stakeholder informed vision for agriculture and fisheries

Food policy brief (PDF , 5,162kb)

Projects

IKnowFood

The IKnowFood project takes an interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder approach to developing a unifying understanding of ‘food system resilience’ using tools and methods to integrate the knowledge of food system actors.

Harvesting the sun twice

This project aims to provide a real test case for the application and adaptation of Agrivoltaic systems to the needs of communities in East Africa.

Resilient food systems

This project examines the rapidly changing food systems in Northern Thailand, looking at the interlinkages and feedback loops between different components across scales, to identify pathways to transformations that are socially and environmentally resilient and just.

Resilient rice

Researchers have developed commercial varieties of rice carrying different segments of DNA from wild ancestors, and are testing how they perform in real agricultural conditions in the field in India to identify the most drought resistant varieties.

Agri-environment policy

The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) is a hub developing new ways to measure the effectiveness of domestic policies on energy, water, environment and food (the ‘nexus’), and how they affect wider society.

Food fraud

During this project a tweet-mining framework was developed to provide a crisis management tool for academia and practitioners to better understand the changes in consumer opinions.

Land management practices

This study consisted of a series of experiments in which we tested a variety of earthworm – bacteria – plant – soil present / absent combinations to allow us to suggest changes in land management practises to maximise the natural boost that earthworms give to plant growth.

Patterns of consumption

This two-year programme investigates the mobilisation and practice of sustainable consumption in the Global South through an examination of systems of food provision and regulation, everyday consumer habits, and trends and fashions in food consumption.

Related links

Research Theme Co-Lead
Professor Bob Doherty

Research Theme Co-Lead

Professor Tony Heron