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Programmes Food

Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food

What are we doing?

We link together existing research on the food system at Oxford and support new interdisciplinary research that addresses the challenges of feeding the global population sustainably, healthily and equitably. This includes scientific, economic, social and environmental issues of food production and consumption, as well as challenges for health, sustainability and development. 

Why is it important?

Without radical change to the way we produce and consume food, as well to the governance of the food system, there is a substantial risk of significant increases in food prices with major political, environmental and humanitarian consequences.

How are we different?

By integrating existing research, supporting new interdisciplinary initiatives, and facilitating interactions between academia, government, civil society and the private sector, we bring both fresh insights and effective action to address the challenges of feeding the global population.

Projects

The Relationship Between the Food System, Health and Developmentaims to develop the first integrated model of environmental sustainability, health and economic development. Global food systems are highly complex. They are both influenced by and have influences on health, economic development and the environment. They will face considerable strain over the coming decades as income growth, urbanisation and globalisation lead to shifts towards Western dietary patterns (e.g. high in meat and processed foods) across the developing world. Under these conditions, the challenge is to find a sustainable method to feed the world’s increasing population, whilst considering the trade-offs and synergies between health, environmental sustainability and economic development.

Implications for food production of adaptation to environmental change with an ageing agricultural sector: addresses two key elements of the food security debate: the role of environmental change, climate and insects, and the structure of the farming population, age and gender. The key research question is addressing the adaptation to environmental change, brought on by both climate change and land use changes, requiring modern adaptive methods of farming at a time when the farming population is ageing. The case study area is North Vietnam, where the programme has a collaboration with COHED, Centre for Community, Health and Development.

Food Climate Research Network: aims to increase our understanding of how the food system contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and what we can do to reduce them. The network looks at the role of technology in reducing food-related emissions but also at what changes in our behaviour are needed.

Emerging Forms Of Food Consumer Behaviour And Food Governance: examine ways in which new media shape consumer activism and food governance. This research examines how consumers use new information systems, whether internet-based consumer organisations, mobile apps or other emergent technologies, and how their engagement is reshaping contemporary modes of food governance.