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£47.5M ‘Transforming the UK Food System program is taking shape

The £47.5M ‘Transforming the UK Food System for Healthy People and a Healthy Environment SPF Program’ is delivered by UKRI, in partnership with the Global Food Security Program, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, Defra, DHSC, PHE, Innovate UK and FSA. It is an interdisciplinary research program that aims to transform the UK food system by addressing two over-arching questions:

If we put healthy people and a healthy natural environment at the heart of the food system, what would we eat, how would we encourage people to eat it, and where would that food come from? What would we grow and manufacture in the UK and what would we need to import?

In delivering this transformed food system, what interventions would be needed across government, business, and civil society?
This Food Systems SPF Program will consider the complex interactions between health, environment, economic and behavioural factors across the food system, while taking into account the wider needs for different groups in society. The Food Systems SPF Program will foster a joined-up approach linking nutritionally healthy and accessible diets with sustainable food production and supply. It will deliver coherent evidence to enable strong action from government, business, and civil society to help achieve dietary health, obesity reduction and net zero emission goals.

As part of the Food Systems SPF Program, a new joint research fellowship post between the Food Standards Agency and UKRI SPF Program was established. We are now very excited to welcome Dr Bethan Mead, into this position. Bethan will be carrying out an exciting 3-year fellowship supported by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) at the University of Liverpool.

This month the Food Systems SPF Team are delighted to welcome Bethan to the Transforming UK Food Systems SPF Program where she will be exploring consumer and stakeholder interests in a transforming UK food system. Based at the University of Liverpool, Bethan’s research focuses on understanding consumer and stakeholder perception and acceptance of urban grown food and alternative proteins

Bethan’s research project will enable this by identifying and addressing barriers to acceptance of urban grown food and alternative proteins in a transformed food system. Based on this research, Bethan and her team will work with stakeholders and consumers to codesign a comprehensive roadmap of recommendations to inform policy that supports an increased uptake of urban grown food and alternative proteins. This exciting, interdisciplinary research project will be conducted in collaboration with UKRI partners, policy makers, stakeholders, and civil society to ensure that safety, regulation, and the consumer are at the heart of research driving change in the food system.

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