Systems

This topic refers to the whole food supply chain, from farm fork, and all the products and services that contribute to food production.

In today's world, viewing the entirety of complicated systems is becoming increasingly important. Taking this stance allows for seeing the complexity and interconnectedness of these systems to help us build a better future.

Please share information, resources and experiences relating to our food & farming systems.

Related Organisations

Content below is from across the PEP community and is not necessarily endorsed by Stewards or by PEP

Connected Content

Science for Sustainable Agriculture aims to ensure the positive contribution of scientific innovation in agriculture and food production is recognised in public life and policy making.

In our first workshop of the season and as part of the Countryside COP programme we met to introduce YEN Zero and discuss productivity and land use as it relates to crops and GHG emissions, addressing the questions: What is the role of productivity in reaching net zero agriculture? How do we balance meeting food demand while protecting our environment? Should we be ‘sparing’ land for nature or ‘sharing’ our agricultural land with nature?

Soil is an essential natural resource for all farmers. Over recent years many initiatives have sought to provide information and advice on soils and Soil Health, notably AHDB Great Soils. 

Pulses are leguminous crops harvested for dry protein-rich seed, with peas (pisum sativum) and beans (vicia faba) being the major crops in the UK.

A combination of sustainability, health & animal welfare concerns are pushing a shift away from meat in our diets to alternative proteins.

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.

Regenerative farming looks to optimise the use of the ecological system and environment, in order to benefit from the natural ecosystem services that they provide.

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Are environmental benefits (carbon, biodiversity...) best served by sharing agricultural land with nature, or by maximising yield in some areas to spare tracts of land exclusively for nature in other areas?  

Bringing the real food and farming movement together. Every January the Oxford Real Farming Conference connects people in the UK and around the globe who want to transform our food and farming system

The major commodity crops in the UK are wheat, barley, oilseed rape, field beans, sugar beet and potatoes, but around half of agricultural land grows grass.   

The livestock industry is an integral part of the agricultural sector, encompassing various aspects of animal husbandry and production. It plays an important role in global food security and supports the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide.

The ADAS Climate and Sustainability team help clients to address their sustainability challenges.

Some symbiotic or free-living microorganisms can fix inert di-nitrogen (N) from the air into reactive organic nitrogenous compounds.  Most biological N fixation (BNF) in farming systems occurs in the root nodules of legumes where rhizobium bacteria take photosynthates from the plant in exchange for fixing atmospheric N and returning ammonium or amides which the plant uses to form amino acids, proteins, etc.   Plants need more N than any other nutrient and N commonly limits plant growth in many ecosystems. 

Henry Dimbleby's National Food Strategy, reported in July 2021

This page is to connect organisations, projects and resources that have an interest in improving the quality of our water sources.

Organic is a system of farming and food production. Organic farmers aim to produce high-quality food, using methods that benefit our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare.

Perennial biomass crops like miscanthus and short rotation coppice have the potential to meet energy demands as renewable fuels, helping to reduce GHG emissions and strive towards Net Zero.

Digica use intelligent AI to make a positive change in the world.    

Intercropping is a method of planting two or more crops in close proximity to each other, either in alternate rows or in the same row. The goal of intercropping is to maximize the use of available space and resources, such as sunlight, water, and nutrients. It can also help to improve soil health and increase crop diversity, which can provide a range of benefits including increased resistance to pests and diseases, and a longer harvest season.

Report by ADAS for Tesco and WWF on the potential for insects as an alternative protein.

Tesco and WWF are working together to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping

Integrated farming is a type of farming that aims to maximize the efficiency and productivity of the farm by integrating different types of crops and animals into a single system.

TABLE is a global platform for knowledge synthesis, for reflective, critical thinking and for inclusive dialogue on debates about the future of food.

H3

‘Healthy soil, Healthy food and Healthy people’

regenagri is an international regenerative agriculture program for securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it.

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

Together, we’re creating plausible pathways, and practical, open science, to achieve Net Zero through the Agrifood system by 2050.

Inchdairnie Distillery Ltd produces Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Single Grain Scotch Whisky. At present we consume 5,000 tons of malted cereal per year.

Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye. It has been shown to be a high yielding relatively low input crop that can do well in second cereal and less fertile conditions, but its adoption is hampered by lack of a reliable consistent market.

Innovative farming for the future   

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is the UK's leading independent organic research organisation. Changing the future of food and farming.

Connecting companies that are developing technologies to commercialise sustainable agriculture.

WWF

WWF supports lots of work on sustainable agriculture in a partnership with Tesco.

Once upon a time the UK had a clever, innovative thriving horticultural industry. Sales were local and to markets and shop in towns across the UK. We have lost this industry and all that is left are massive businesses on thousands of acres supplying supermarkets and very small scale growers.  

The SMI Agribusiness Task force makes clear what the private sector can do to make regenerative agriculture a 'no-brainer' for farmers and accellerate its adoption worldwide. 

An event to discuss how will we secure the plant varieties needed for more sustainable UK agriculture How will we secure the plant varieties needed for a more sustainable and resilient UK agriculture? Can the plant breeding community rise to the challenge, and what is needed to achieve this?

Land of Plenty is WWF's blueprint for how the agriculture and land use sectors in the UK can help fight climate change and bring nature back to life.

Where does rewilding sit in the future of food and agriculture? Rewilding is a contested term, described by some as laying a foundation for global biodiversity restoration and by others as a threat to human and non-human life in the countryside. This explainer explores how and why people disagree about rewilding, compares its various definitions, and considers how the rewilding debate ties in with different visions for the future of food.

Innovate UK and BBSRC announce new £16 million competition to drive forward novel, resource efficient, low-emission food production systems.

TALISMAN and SCARAB were long-term projects developed to follow on from issues raised in the Boxworth project. TALISMAN focused on the economic issues of reducing pesticide and fertiliser use, whilst SCARAB examined the ecological side-effects of pesticides.

As a thought-piece for Science for Sustainable Agriculture, science communicator Dr Julian Little examines two contrasting approaches taken by leading food businesses to promote more sustainable agriculture and food production – the apparently “unscalable” regenerative agriculture, and sustainable intensification. Which approach is most likely to deliver the necessary increases in global food production while at the same time reducing agriculture’s footprint, delivering net zero and leaving room for nature? And are they in conflict?

In the UK an estimated 3.3 million tonnes of food are wasted before making it off farm. Farmers face numerous barriers to accurately tracking and reducing on-farm food waste. In response to this hidden issue, WWF and Tesco have worked with members of the food system, including farmers, suppliers, retailers and NGOs to develop the Hidden Waste Roadmap. This report sets out actions for food system actors between 2022 – 2026 to support farmers in measuring, reporting and reducing food waste on farms. 

Tree forage has many nutritional benefits for livestock as it diversifies their diet, provides additional nutrients and contains tannins that reduce methane production. Dr Lindsay Whistance from Organic Research Centre offers her advice on the best trees for silvopasture in a recent Innovative Farmers blog. 

A global initiative led by Wageningen, University of Nebraska and others to estimate yield potential and yield gaps across the world.

This piece is a brief summary of the TABLE Explainer Rewilding and its implications for agriculture and aims to illuminate key debates surrounding rewilding.

Countryside COP, organised by CFEonline, provides a platform to hear how the UK farming can help tackle climate change and improve sustainability. From 20-24 November 2023, ADAS hosted a series of webinars exploring how to improve climate resilience in the agricultural sector.

One of the few positives from the current fertiliser crisis is that it will at least force al

It’s worth reflecting on why we export most of the pulse crop we produce in the UK, or simply fee

If you are wondering whether or when agriculture was natural, look at the insightful articles wri

Article by Paul Temple in May 2022 for

Report from EIT Food North-West with Innovate UK KTN on exploring opportunities for Controlle

Talk by Alastair Leake at IFS Agronomic Conference 2021. Farming systems employ differe

Genetic technologies can help deliver the objectives of regenerative agriculture, say

Scientific paper in Nature by Tim Searchinger and colleagues on Carbon Opportunity Cost of ch

Scientific paper in Nature Climate Change in 2016 by Antony Lamb, Andrew Balmford & Colle

The fate of much of the nitrogen applied to crops or grass as fertiliser around the world is ulti

Scientific paper by Andrew Balmford & colleagues in 2012 published in Proceedings of the

  https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/north-wyke-farm-platform

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The SUPER-G project is a European wide project aiming to work with farmers and policy makers to develop sustainable & effective permanent grassland systems.

Farming groups, scientists, and start-ups are teaming up to test how far cultured meat is a threat, or an opportunity, for UK farmers.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture is a pressing global concern that arises when microorganisms, including bacteria, develop resistance to antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics and antifungals commonly used in agricultural practices. This resistance can have far-reaching consequences for both agriculture and public health.

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.   Branston are creating a potato derived protein product.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+ (SFN) brings together STFC researchers and facilities with research and industry in the agri-food sector.

HESTIA – Harmonized Environmental Storage and Tracking of the Impacts of Agriculture – is an online platform to enable the sharing of food sustainability data in a structured, open source and standardised way. Please visit https://www.hestia.earth for more information.  

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

Identifying and increasing sustainable practices along the supply and production chains of European livestock.

Land use refers to the way that land is used and managed for various purposes, such as agriculture, housing, industry, and recreation.

An estimated 3.3 million tonnes of food may be lost and wasted on farms in the UK each year.

How we manage our farms and fields is not only important for the nutrition of crops and livestock, but also for the quality and nutritive value of the food we eat.

Green Alliance is an independent think tank and charity focused on ambitious leadership for the environment.  

Natural England provides an exciting opportunity for the farming community to decide the future for sustainable food production and thriving nature. In Birmingham on 28 November.

Fibre can be produced from animal and crop agricultural products.  Hemp & flax are traditionally important fibre crops in the UK.   

The history of protein, from its 'discovery' and naming in 1838, is a story weaving science, nutritional politics, cultural attitudes to food, and much more. An understanding of this history is invaluable if we are to contextualise the current focus on protein that characterises discourses about health and sustainable food systems, and popular beliefs about fitness and nutrition. In this piece, Tamsin Blaxter and Tara Garnett from Table trace the history of protein from 1838 through to the end of the 'Protein fiasco' in 1974, discovering many echoes of the modern day.

Fringe event of Oxford Farming Conference with Fera on Thursday 8 December online.

‘Business-as-usual’ is dead. So what could the UK agri-food system look like in 2050, and what would this mean for research now & net zero?

Learn about the benefits of livestock in the arable rotation. See our information on forage crops, cover crops, outdoor pigs, farmyard manure and more.

A report launched today at the 2024 Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) firmly states that the practice of farmers subsidising consumers’ appetite for cheap food cannot continue.

How can we improve resilience? Whose job is it to do what – from supporting farmers, to meeting consumer demand?

Join us from 7pm until 8pm to explore the evidence behind whether regeneratively farmed food is more nutritious.

ADAS and the Met Office will explore what mechanisms there are to support an agriculture and food sector that is resilient to climate change.

Thought piece from Mat

Powerful long-term drivers are increasing both the demand and supply of quantified environmental impact information in food systems. 

How rising competition for land threatens international and environmental stability, and how the risks can be mitigated.

Pathways to Sustainability - Scaling the Transition of Global Agriculture

Join us, in partnership with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and The Farmer Scientist Network, as we tap into the expertise and experience of our speakers to find the answers that you need to take your business forward.

Rainwater harvesting is the on-site collection and storage of rainfall from impermeable surfaces and storage for later use.

Join us for the first national FAS Women in Agriculture conference to hear from inspirational speakers, learn from specialists and network with like-minded people.\

Water from farms may be contaminated to different degrees. The level of contamination will determine how they should be managed.

Adaptation Through Innovation; Beyond the Comfort Zone.

A transformation of food systems is urgently needed, possible, and offers enormous economic benefits.

Discover more about how the YEN works in this webinar and how it could help your agricultural suppliers become more resilient, more productive, and even more environmentally friendly.

This guide for fresh produce growers explains how you can increase crop utilisation and profitability through measuring food waste in five simple steps.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an umbrella term which enc

Meeting humankind’s burgeoning food and energy requirements sustain

Book edited by Roger Sylvester-Bradley and Julian Wiseman exploring the  potential for yield

Article by Matt Ridley

Paper by James Sumberg and Ken Giller in Global Food Security, 2022

Scientific paper reporting analysis of hay yields from Park Grass long term experiment in Her

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