Research projects, training and reports

The interdisciplinary projects and centres below make up the portfolio of the programme. They look to address the objectives and aims of the programme set out here

The programme was delivered in several stages:

  • Consortia projects (large-scale research projects) – Five-year research grants of up to £6m. They are multi-centre, interdisciplinary projects, bringing together the different parts of the food system. Through building a critical mass of researchers and stakeholders, they will enable an integrated approach to addressing the objectives of this programme. These projects all include collaborations with a cross-section of stakeholders (government, business and civil society) to shape the research and help drive impact.
  • Centre for Doctoral Training – The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) ensures a pipeline of skilled people who are able to apply critical interdisciplinary systems thinking to health and sustainability challenges, across academia, industry and government. The CDT will deliver three cohorts of students and will bring together research organisations to ensure coverage of different parts of the food system and different disciplines.
  • Shorter research projects – Two to three-year research projects which integrate both social and natural sciences. They collaborate with at least one stakeholder organisation from government, business or civil society and address UK government priorities, covering aspects from trade, food production and consumer behaviour. 
  • Reports and toolkits – Commissioned reports adding to the programme’s portfolio.


This project is a vision for a Yorkshire food system constituting regenerative and equitable healthy eating for young children, supported by regenerative hybrid food economies and farming.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People (H3)

Bringing together world-class researchers from Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, Cambridge and City universities, this project seeks to transform the UK food system ‘from the ground up.’


This project will develop solutions to give people living in disadvantaged communities improved access to fresher food and a balance of desirable, sustainable, affordable and healthy products.

Transforming Urban Food Systems for Public and Planetary Health (the Mandala Consortium)

Focusing on the city of Birmingham, the project will evaluate interventions to demonstrate how food can be made healthier, more affordable and less harmful to the environment, but still profitable.

The UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (UKFS-CDT)

The UKFS-CDT aims to develop the next generation of food system change makers for a healthy and sustainable food future, training over 60 interdisciplinary doctoral researchers from 2021 to 2027.

Sustainable Nutrition, Environment and Agriculture, Without Consumer Knowledge (SNEAK)

We’ll deliver a tool that generates a 15-30% reduction in the carbon footprint of meals and their sugar, fat and salt content and can be implemented without consumers being aware of the changes.

Raising the Pulse (RtP): Systems Analysis of the Environmental, Nutritional and Health Benefits of Pulse-Enhanced Foods

Raising the Pulse (RtP) is based on the concept that if we could make it easier for the UK population to eat more UK-grown pulses, there would be considerable health and environmental benefits.

UK Sustainable King Prawn Project

This project aims to demonstrate the socio-economic benefit of a world-leading ‘terrestrial blue economy’, contributing multiple public goods to reform UK agriculture.

Pasture to Plate (P2P): Realising the Enormous Potential of UK Grasslands

Our vision is to maximise the food potential of UK pasture by using targeted chemical processing and novel biotechnology to convert grass into nutritious edible fractions for food.

Social Enterprise as a Catalyst for Sustainable and Healthy Local Food Systems

Our research will focus on the distinctive role of social enterprises, exploring and enhancing their unique contribution to food systems that are more inclusive, sustainable and healthy.

Is Cultured Meat a Threat or Opportunity for UK Farmers?

This project focuses on how cultured meat could affect farming in the UK, exploring its environmental, economic and animal welfare impact, as well as public and political attitudes.

TRAnsforming the DEbate about Livestock Systems Transformation (TRADE)

Our project will seek a consensus on the contested role of livestock in the UK agricultural economy, balancing its market value and opportunities for innovation with less tangible contributions.

Thinking Beyond the Can: Mainstreaming UK-Grown Beans in Healthy Meals (BeanMeals)

BeanMeals aims to develop and analyse systemic innovations for reducing the consumption of products high in fat, sugar and salt in institutional and home-cooking by using UK-grown navy beans.

Increasing UK Dietary Fibre – The Case for the Great White British Loaf

We’ll identify what transformation in the UK wheat agri-food chain is needed to deliver high fibre white loaf bread, using a combined behavioural, food technology and predictive modelling approach.

Sus-Health – Sustainable and Healthy Diets for All

The Sus-Health project will establish and demonstrate a blueprint of a system that incentivises both directly and indirectly the consumption of sustainable and healthy food.

FIO-FOOD, Food Insecurity in People Living With Obesity – Improving Sustainable and Healthier Food Choices in the Retail FOOD Environment

We’ll co-develop and test strategies to support future potential in the food system, bringing together food insecure people living with obesity, consumers, retailers, policy makers and academics.

Realigning UK Food Production and Trade for Transition to Healthy and Sustainable Diets

The University of Reading led project aims to develop a blueprint for a coordinated set of policy interventions to support the transition to healthy and sustainable diets in the UK.

Food Systems Transformation: What’s in the Policy Toolbox?

This research, published in October 2021, generated a map of policy levers organised by food supply chain segment and developed a taxonomy of broad types of policy lever.

Publication Date:
October 2021
Kelly Parsons and David Barling

What Would a Transformational Approach to Food Public Procurement Look Like?

This report presents a case study on food public procurement (FPP), examined through the lens of food system transformation.

Publication Date:
October 2021
Kelly Parsons and David Barling

Mapping the UK Food System

The research, published in November 2020, draws together publicly available data sources, public documents and research articles to map and quantify the food system.

Publication Date:
November 2020
Saher Hasnain, John Ingram and Monika Zurek

Covid-19 and the UK Food System: Learning Lessons and Building Back Better

The published report by the University of Exeter focusses on the impacts and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic across the UK food system.

Publication Date:
November 2022
Steve Guilbert, Michael Winter, Matt Lobley u0026 Timothy Wilkinson

Shifting food business behaviours for human & environmental health: A behavioural science perspective

This new report commissioned lays out a flexible approach for creating more strategic and holistic behaviour change initiatives using food business behaviours as an example.

Publication Date:
December 2022
Bright Harbour

Public Sector Food Procurement Supply Chains leading to School Meals: The Case of Yorkshire

This research identified that fundamentally, local authorities lie at the heart of many public sector food supply chains into school meals.

Publication Date:
January 2023
Rebecca Lait, Fix Our Food

Understanding and Evaluating On-Farm Food Loss and Waste in the UK

New report, produced to understand and evaluate on-farm food loss and waste in the UK.

Publication Date:
April 2023
Emmanuel Sawyer

Transformation: A Guide to Fundamental Change in a World of Crisis

This report provides an overview of the concept of transformation to highlight
some of the critical aspects that need to be considered when embarking on an
initiative, approach or campaign which is intended to be transformational.

Publication Date:
June 2023
Ioan Fazey and John Colvin

Leveraging knowledge-policy interfaces for food systems transformation in the UK: Lessons from civil society

This new report examines how Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) approach and navigate knowledge-policy interfaces in the context of UK food policy. Specifically, it examines how different types of CSOs produce and use evidencebuild and maintain relationships, and mobilise narratives to leverage food policy change.

Publication Date:
December 2023
Tanya Zerbian, Christopher Yap, Rosalind Sharpe and Christian Reynolds