Sustainable food production presents a challenge for our growing planetary population. Over the coming decades, agriculture and food systems will face unprecedented pressures, including a 30 percent increase in the global population, intensifying competition for scarce land, water and energy resources, along with the numerous impacts of climate change. Food production will need to increase by 60% by 2050 to provide for increased population against a backdrop where almost 1 billion people are currently hungry and where four of the nine planetary boundaries that have been exceeded relate to food systems (climate change; loss of biosphere integrity; land system change; altered biochemical cycles). We need to find new ways of growing crops, raising animals, providing adequate nutrition to those most in need, reducing food waste, and protecting farm livelihoods, all whilst reducing environmental impact.
The Environmental Research Institute has substantial expertise and resources in the areas of sustainable crop production, plant genomics, aquaculture and fisheries, agri-food economics, consumer behaviour, nutrient recycling, life cycle analysis, food provisioning platforms, supply chain optimisation and ecosystems services.