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, Lancaaster, 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.

Policy with 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 research and policy impact

The Holiday Activities and Food Programme
Promoting the Department for Education’s HAF 2021

The Policy Hub’s sister project FixOurFood, led by the management team behind the Hub, worked with the Food Foundation, the National Food Strategy and The Food People to produce a video, supported by England Footballer Marcus Rashford, to promote the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

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Making better policies for food systems
Our response to the latest report from the OECD

N8 AgriFood hosted a webinar with the Office for Economic Co-operation and Development to review its latest report. Our academics then published a response piece, welcoming the emphasis placed on the need for a food systems approach in policy.

Read the response

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

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

Read the research

The National Food Strategy
Providing expertise to shape Part One 

The National Food Strategy team invited Policy Hub Director Professor Bob Doherty to be the food systems and trade expert at their first Public Dialogue. Professor Doherty’s expertise fed into the final Part 1 report of the National Food Strategy.

Read the strategy

The School Breakfast Bill
Underpinned by research from our academics at the University of Leeds

Currently awaiting a date for its second reading in Parliament, the School Breakfast Bill, supported by a campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, quotes evidence from our colleagues at Leeds, Professor Louise Dye, Dr Katie Adolphus and Dr Clare Lawton.

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