Researchers from the Universities of Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool will be working on a major new project, launched this month, that aims to make UK dairy production more sustainable and resilient.
The £1.5M project is being funded by the Global Food Security’s ‘Resilience of the UK Food System Programme’ with support from the Research Councils (BBSRC, ESRC, NERC) and Scottish Government, led by Principal Investigator Professor Mark Reed. The researchers will be working with Nestle, Business in the Community, the Rivers Trusts, Innovation for Agriculture, 3Keel, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Catchment Senstive Farming, FirstMilk and other stakeholders in the dairy industry and Government. The team will be looking in particular at issues around environmental impact, animal health and farmer incomes in post-Brexit UK.
Lead Principal Investigator Professor Mark Reed (Newcastle) explained: "The project is about balancing competing demands and pressures in the industry. We aim to explore innovative ways of making dairy systems better for the natural environment and for farmers’ livelihoods, while maintaining long term supplies for consumers at reasonable prices, at a time of unpredictable challenges like climate change."
The research is part of a £4.9 million investment by the UK Research Councils to further increase resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said: "The Global Food Security programme is an excellent example of interdisciplinary research, bringing together a range of expertise across the biological, environmental and social sciences to address the many uncertainties facing the UK’s food system.
"Research is a vital part of our Industrial Strategy, and by increasing funding in this area we are helping ensure the future security of the UK food sector, while reinforcing our position as a world leader in science and innovation."
Read more about the five new projects funded under the programme.