The University of Hertfordshire is part of an international research team that has secured €6m funding, to help policy makers improve the resilience of the European food system. The funding, from the EU Horizon 2020: Sustainable food security theme, will help to improve food security for Europe and beyond, and also help to protect the livelihoods of the millions of Europeans who work in the food system.
The new research project, VALUMICS, will map and model the complex flows of raw materials and finished goods as they move through food supply chains, with value added at each stage – hence the ‘value’ component in the project name.
David Barling PhD, Professor of Food Policy and Security at the University of Hertfordshire and principal investigator for the University of Hertfordshire on the VALUMICS project, said:
“Food security and the resilience of the food supply are of increasingly urgent concern to governments, business and the public. Resilience means being able to withstand the challenges of climate change, resource depletion and population growth, but it also means protecting food producers – the vital basis of our food supply. To build resilience we need to understand how and why decisions are made, and how value is distributed along food supply chains to reward certain practices. Valumics will be looking for policies and actions that make food value chains greener and fairer.”
Over the next four years this multidisciplinary research project, involving 21 partners from Europe and Asia, will review key food sectors including beef and dairy, farmed fish, cereals and oils. The key input of researchers at the Centre for Food and Environmental Management (CAFEM) at the University of Hertfordshire is to identify relevant policies and analyse their impacts.
The results will be relevant to policy makers at all levels, as well as the myriad food businesses throughout Europe which are regulated by their decisions.