Given the external shocks of both COVID-19 and Brexit, developing secure, resilient and sustainable supply for trade is essential to the successful operation of food systems. Our research explores the role of both UK and international governments and organisations in the sustainability and resilience of global agri-commodity supply chains.

Our Impacts and Outputs

Topsoil in the shape of the UK map

Key challenges for AgriFood supply chains post-Brexit

In 2018 N8 AgriFood hosted an Expert Workshop on Agrifood Supply Chains to identify issues for policy. The findings were presented to DEFRA at a seminar, Post-Brexit Agricultural Policy from Supply Chain Perspectives, hosted by the Global Food Security Programme, and a subsequent Policy Brief was produced.

Read the briefing
Tomatoes growing on the vine

Vulnerability of the United Kingdom’s food supply chains exposed by COVID-19

This Nature Food article by Dr Philip Garnett, Food Systems Policy Hub director Professor Bob Doherty and Prof Tony Heron, University of York, explores how building redundancy and diversity in the food system is essential for the COVID-19 recovery.

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Food Supply in a Changing World

During the launch of the Policy Hub, Professor Bob Doherty from the University of York and Food Systems Policy Hub Director, hosted a webinar on food supply in a changing world, featuring speakers from academia and industry. Topics that were debated included the vulnerability of fresh fruit and vegetable supply to the UK, transforming urban food deliveries for net-zero cities and the challenges facing the food and drink industry in a changing world.

Watch the webinar

The UK food supply chain – policy and support, EU and global relationships, fairness and environmental sustainability, and moving forward from COVID

Food Systems Policy Hub Director Professor Bob Doherty, the University of York’s Professor Tony Heron, who sits on the Hub’s Working Group, and Sue Davies from Which, who is part of the Hub’s Advisory Board, were all speakers at an online conference hosted by the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum. The event, held in June 2021, explored priorities and next steps for policy and support to address key challenges facing the UK’s food and drink supply chain. The Hub’s experts contributed to discussions around international trade and logistics, fairness in the supply chain, the Covid-19 pandemic, and environmental sustainability. Following the seminar a briefing document was produced and distributed to policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

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Supermarket aisle

COVID-19 and food supply report

N8 AgriFood academics contributed expert opinions through written evidence submissions from the IKnowFood and STFC Food Network+ projects, providing expertise on food poverty and undisrupted cross-border food supply chains during lockdown for this report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

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Lorry surrounded by fields

The COVID-19 pandemic and international trade report

In July 2020 the House of Commons International Trade Committee published its report ‘The Covid-19 pandemic and international trade’. The committee invited Policy Hub Director, Professor Bob Doherty, University of York, and Policy Hub Working Group member Professor Fiona Smith, University of Leeds, to give expert evidence as witnesses to the enquiry under an oral evidence meeting entitled ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Businesses and Workers’. Professor Doherty and Professor Smith’s evidence was referenced many times in the final report, particularly in the sections on UK Trade in Essential Goods, International Response, and Ensuring Future Supply Chain Resilience.

Read the report