INTERNATIONAL scientists, experts from agriculture and other industries and policy makers will gather this month to hear how researchers in the North of England have been working to solve the challenges surrounding one of the world’s most vital commodities; food.

N8 AgriFood’s annual conference aims to drive debate and provide solutions to some of the most critical challenges facing world food systems, with topics on the agenda including advances in urban agriculture and smart technology, food poverty, the role of behaviour change in relation to diet, food standards, and the effects of Brexit.

N8 AgriFood, which is a consortium of the eight most research intensive universities in the North of England, will share its contributions to tackling the urgent global crisis to provide sufficient, affordable, safe and nutritious food within a sustainable and resilient food system.

By showcasing its work since the establishment of the programme in 2015, the event will provide a platform for debate and discussion, bringing together domestic and international stakeholders from across the sector.

The two-day event, at The Principal Hotel, in York, on October 22 and 23, features keynote presentations from Phil Hambling, the NFU’s head of food and farming; Cathryn Higgs, the Co-op’s head of food policy; and Jonathan Brooks, Head of the agri-food trade and markets division within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Anthonia James, operations director for N8 AgriFood, said: “ We are looking forward to sharing and celebrating our contributions to these significant challenges.

“There is increasing recognition of a need to provide solutions on a large scale, which can most efficiently be achieved by bringing together academics from a range of disciplines and stakeholders from across the sector. We are in an excellent position to respond to this need at such a crucial time.

“We have some great keynote speeches lined up and overarching food system plenary sessions which have exciting and engaging content.

“We are looking forward to generating debate and engaging delegates to think about how future research can work alongside industry and policy to ensure the sustainability of food systems.”

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