Centre for Sustainable Food Production Launched31 October 2013
UK - Meeting the increasing need for food to feed the world’s expanding population was the subject of this year’s annual lecture from Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, as he announced a new Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management – a new collaboration between the University, the Royal Veterinary College, and Rothamsted Research.
Professor McKellar's 2013 lecture, 'Give us this day our daily bread', explained the need for action to avoid food crisis and described how the University, together with its partners, planned to tackle the challenge of a cost effective and robust food system to ensure UK food security.
Professor McKellar said: "I am delighted to announce that the University of Hertfordshire is partnering with two of the world's leading agricultural institutions - the Royal Veterinary College and Rothamsted Research - to establish the new Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management.
"This new partnership will draw on the combined expertise to lead research into some of the most pressing issues affecting every aspect of food production in the UK – from the farm to our table. We will undertake research into aspects of animal and plant production which will contribute to national food security, as well as educating the next generation of agriculture and food chain specialists."
The new Centre will provide a world-class centre for education and research in food production, food supply, environmental management and sustainability. The courses, including compulsory work experience for undergraduate students, will equip graduates with knowledge and skills to lead and inform sustainable agriculture and food security – ensuring high employability of graduates.
Professor Stephen May, Deputy Principal at the Royal Veterinary College, said: "The challenges for ensuring that we continue to have affordable and safe meat on our plates have never been greater. World demand is increasing, and at the same time UK consumers rightly demand quality-assured, welfare-friendly products.
“The veterinary profession will play an essential part in progress in this field, and, as the largest UK veterinary school, the RVC looks forward to making its own substantial contribution to this Centre."
Professor Maurice Moloney, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research said: "We are delighted to play a part in this excellent initiative within Hertfordshire.
“The vision of the Vice-Chancellor in the face of major challenges in food security worldwide is both timely and opportune.
“This coincides with a substantial investment from BBSRC to develop Rothamsted's Harpenden campus.
“With our world-leading crop and soil science research and these new facilities, we will make a substantial contribution towards fulfilling Professor McKellar's vision for the University and for the County of Hertfordshire."
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