Systems of food production, trade and consumption are increasingly vulnerable to interconnected political, economic and ecological shocks associated with climate, environmental and ecosystem changes, shifts in farming practices and consumer lifestyles, and globalisation.
IKnowFood is a 3.3 million pound, four year project that started in October 2016. It is led by the York Management School with collaborators from across the University of York and the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester.
The project uses the concept of resilience to investigate the sources of these vulnerabilities and to produce datasets, information resources, engagement approaches and business tools that will assist stakeholders in developing mitigation and adaptation strategies.
IKnowFood will explore resilience on farms; in supply chains; and among consumers, in order to:
- deepen understanding of the food system and how stakeholders differ in their ability to respond to crises and stresses within global food supply chains;
- investigate how structures, institutions and information can support individuals, communities and organisations to think and act in response to different types of change that emerge within the complexity of the global food system;
- explore how new forms of data, mobile technologies, institutional models and incentive frameworks can shape information flows and behaviour, enabling researchers, technologists and food system stakeholders to resolve and respond in a timely fashion to pressures facing food consumption, production and trade; and
- provide a new model of food system resilience that sets an agenda for future interdisciplinary research and defines policy objectives for a resilient UK food system.
Collaborators and funding
The project is being funded through the Global Food Security – Food System Resilience Fund with contributions from BBSRC, NERC, ESRC, DEFRA, FSA and the Scottish Government. The project is supported by the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI) and the N8 Agrifood Programme.