The Food Research Council appeals for your support

Professor Tim Lang sent us this message and we’re happy to suggest you sign up for the Food Research Council:

I hope you might be interested in the new Food Research Collaboration (FRC), a collaborative project between academics and civil society here in Britain. This is an invitation to join that process. There is more on the website:http://foodresearch.org.uk

The FRC is an inter-University collaboration with multi-NGOs. Hence the website is in neutral territory (but City University London’s mainframe is kindly hosting it for us). We are keen to promote inter-disciplinary working on themes that are identified as topical yet need more research or are under-discussed. The FRC is core-funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, for which we are most grateful. The FRC is set up mainly for people working anywhere in the UK in academia and civil society organisations but it will be doing lots for general consumption too.

The FRC’s aim is simple: to encourage better co-working between academics and civil society on food matters in the Britain.  The British focus is not because this is to be inward-looking, but because here is the 7th richest economy on the planet getting its food system not quite right and we need to focus on what we – civil society and academics – think could and ought to be done to get things on the right track.

On July 14, we launched with a new report by a consortium of NGOs and us here at the Centre for Food Policy. Called Square Meal, it is a call for UK food and farming to be restructured around ecosystems and health promotion: http://foodresearch.org.uk/square-meal/

The FRC will now be producing a series of papers on topics of concern for both academics and civil society. We have a shopping list of tasks and topics, drawn up from a first big meetings with civil society organisations but we are keen to hear of more. For academics, this is something that might interest not just you but your post-graduate students too. We in academia have been encouraged for decades to work with companies and government, yet few have seen the value of engagement with civil society. The REF impact surely should encourage this! In civil society there is a vibrant buzz of activity and people keen to have more working involvement from and with academics.

>> check their website for details of forthcoming events.

>> Tim will be speaking at Taking Soundings event in Leeds early in 2015.

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