• Plans for Regional Powerhouse in the Agri-Food Sector
    From left: Phil Newton, Director of Science at Fera, Chair of AFRI; Janet Bainbridge, Head of Agricultural Technology at UK Trade and Industry; Sue Hartley, Director of YESI, Deputy Chair of AFRI; James Farrar, COO of the York, North Yorks and East Riding LEP; Graham Ward, CEO of Stockbridge Technology Centre; Richard Pearson, National Farmers’ Union Regional Director for the North East

News & Views

Plans for Regional Powerhouse in the Agri-Food Sector

Jun 27 2014

Scientists from the Yorkshire and Humber region’s Universities and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) recently met agriculture experts and key business and industrial players to explore ways of strengthening innovation and growth in the agricultural and food sector.

The Agri-Food Resilience Initiative (AFRI), a collaboration between Fera and the University’s York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI), organised the workshop at the National Agri-food Innovation Campus, York.

Director of Science at Fera, and Chair of AFRI Phil Newton said “Huge regional strengths in agri-food research, innovation, training, farming and food production provide a clear opportunity for the Yorkshire and Humber region to pave the way for the agri-food agenda nationally.  Working together, the organisations represented at this workshop today have the drive, skills and expertise needed to drive innovation and growth in the sector. And right now, there are opportunities to make this happen”

Janet Bainbridge, Head of Agricultural Technology at UK Trade and Industry added:

“With new innovative agri-food industry such as the Vivergo bioethanol / animal feed plant and Arla, as well as established household names such as Asda-Walmart, Nestlé and McCain, the region is in a strong position to become the global leader in agri-tech from ‘Farm to Fork’.”

Richard Pearson, the National Farmers’ Union Regional Director for the North East welcomed AFRI’s commitment to helping farmers.

“The challenge for global agriculture is to produce at least 30% more food by 2050. Yorkshire’s farming industry is incredibly diverse, boasting an array of impressive arable, livestock, dairy and horticultural businesses. NFU members support a strong innovative science base which will lead to practical methods being developed on-farm to increase food and energy production in a sustainable way.”


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