We combine world-leading multidisciplinary research and translational capabilities to respond to the global challenge of ensuring food security. We strive to influence change in agrifood and environmental policy and practice through N8 AgriFood’s status as a leader in both international research and innovation, coupled with the Policy Hub’s activities which align with many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.



Our Impacts and Outputs


prof duncan cameron and prof tony ryan syrian mattress project

Helping Syrian refugees grow food in old mattresses

N8 AgriFood academic, Prof Duncan Cameron from the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield is jointly leading a team of researchers using discarded mattresses to grow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and herbs for refugees.

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The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review

The Dasgupta Review is an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta  The Review was commissioned in 2019 by HM Treasury and has been supported by an Advisory Panel drawn from public policy, science, economics, finance and business. Research by Policy Hub director Professor Bob Doherty’s IKnowFood project was cited in the report.

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African leaf vegetables

Harnessing the benefits of African leafy vegetables for smallholder farmers and their households

N8 AgriFood Academic Lead, Professor Katherine Denby, University of York is the PI of this project, working with academics from the University of Newcastle and North-West University in South Africa and the South African Agricultural Research Council. Together they have developed improved varieties of amaranth, one of the most common ALV in Southern Africa, using a combination of molecular analysis, metabolic profiling of nutrient content, genomics, participatory breeding with smallholder farmers, and analysis of susceptibility to pests. Their research has delivered improved lines which can then be promoted by the Agricultural Research Council to improve the nutrition, livelihoods and environmental sustainability of smallholder households.

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Cows in field

The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs)

Initiated from an N8 AgriFood workshop, the Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme is creating the first systematic process to determine the burden of animal disease globally. Led by N8 AgriFood Chair at the University of Liverpool, Professor Jonathan Rushton, GBADs provides data for evidence-based econometric analysis of animal health policies. It has received support from the World Health Organisation, the Department for International Development in the UK, the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations and the OIE World Organisation for Animal Health.

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Girl working on a farm

Creating the new economy: Business models that put people and planet first

In January 2020 the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) launched a major new report Creating the New Economy: Business models that put people and planet first. It was co-authored by the N8 AgriFood Food Systems Policy Hub director Professor Bob Doherty, alongside Erinch Sahan from the WFTO, Prof. Helen Haugh from University of Cambridge and Tom Wills from Traidcraft Exchange. Based on new research, the report uncovered new insights from across the WFTO community of social enterprises. Built to make management and investment decisions to favour workers, farmers and artisans, the report finds they can work in some of the most challenging contexts, and drive ecological practices that protect our planet.

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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.

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