Welcome to the N8 AgriFood Food Systems Policy Hub

Developing a resilient food system has never been more important.
Threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, food poverty and climate change present considerable challenges.

The N8 AgriFood programme combines expertise and multiple disciplines from the 8 research intensive universities in the North of England – Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York – known as the N8.

We take a food systems approach, combining expertise from across the N8 universities to provide independent research evidence and thought leadership to inform policy at local, national and international levels.

Our programme is about creating social and environmental change to tackle the various challenges the food system faces. It’s essential that our interdisciplinary research has real-world impact and we have developed the N8 AgriFood Food Systems Policy Hub to help us achieve this.

Visit our N8 AgriFood research programme website to find out more about the work we do

It’s essential our food systems research has real-world impact…

Food supply in a changing world

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Childhood food poverty in the UK

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Ecosystem markets for a green recovery

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Tackling global food issues through local action

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How can policy support agrifood innovation?

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Policy with real-world impact

In recent months, our food systems research has impacted policy in a variety of ways.

We have provided evidence on the important role that eating breakfast plays in learning for children, which underpins the School Breakfast Bill currently going through the House of Commons. This proposed new legislation is calling for children in need to have a free school breakfast and has been supported by Manchester United footballer and childhood food poverty campaigner, Marcus Rashford.

We have also given expert evidence on the impact of COVID-19 to committees in both the House of  Commons and House of Lords, as well as contributed to the National Food Strategy, which is first review of our system in 75 years.

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Our most recent policy impact

Children eating at school

House of Commons – School Breakfast Bill

Research by Dr Katie Adolphus, Dr Clare Lawton and Prof Louise Dye from the University of Leeds underpins this proposed legislation calling for vulnerable children to get a free school breakfast, which has been supported by Marcus Rashford.

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Lorry surrounded by fields

The COVID-19 pandemic and international trade report

Prof Bob Doherty, University of York, and Prof Fiona Smith, University of Leeds, gave evidence to the House of Commons International Trade Committee, which informed this report.

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Supermarket aisle

COVID-19 and food supply report

N8 AgriFood academics contributed expert opinions on food poverty and disrupted cross-border food supply chains during lockdown for this report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Read the report
Food parcels

Hungry for change: Fixing the failures in food report

N8 AgriFood academics from the Universities of Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and York provided their expertise for this report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment.

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Food crates in warehouse

POSTnote research briefing – A resilient UK food system

Through collaboration with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) we placed Joe Llanos, a fourth year PhD student at the University of Sheffield, in a 3 month internship at POST resulting in this food systems resilience POSTnote.

Read the briefing
National Food Strategy part one

National Food Strategy – Part One

Prof Bob Doherty, Food Systems Policy Hub Director, shared his expert advice at the first National Food Strategy citizen engagement event, which fed into part one of the strategy. It’s the first major review of our food system in 75 years.

Read the strategy

Our most recent research

Nature Food
Vulnerability of the UK’s food supply chains exposed by COVID-19

Dr Philip Garnett, Prof Bob Doherty and Prof Tony Heron from the University of York explore how building redundancy and diversity in the food system is essential for the COVID-19 recovery.

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The British Medical Journal
Obese and hungry: two faces of a nation

Dr J Bernadette Moore and Dr Charlotte Evans from the University of Leeds consider how inequality is a leading contributor to both obesity and hunger.

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The British Medical Journal
Obese and hungry: two faces of a nation

Dr J Bernadette Moore and Dr Charlotte Evans, University of Leeds

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Emerald Open Research
N8 AgriFood Collection

Wide-ranging thought leadership articles by N8 AgriFood academics exploring the various challenges the food system faces.

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Our latest blog posts…

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