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Serving up a healthy food chain – University of Reading

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Serving up a healthy food chain

Release Date 22 June 2005

a plate of saladA team of researchers from Reading's Schools of Agriculture, Policy and Development, Food Biosciences, Plant Sciences and Psychology has been awarded nearly £1.1million as part of the Rural Economy & Land Use [RELU] Research Programme. The research project, entitled 'Implications of a Nutrition Driven Food Policy for Land Use and the Rural Environment', is part of the RELU research theme, 'Sustainable Food Chains'. The research forms part of a three-year £20million programme, funded through three research councils, the ESRC, BBSRC, NERC. The funding is being awarded to teams whose work is considered to be 'relevant and timely, as well as scientifically excellent'. The aim of RELU is to provide a body of evidence, supported by underpinning research that can be used to inform policy and practice. The programme is expected to contribute to the long-term outcome of achieving a rural economy that meets social and economic objectives, with protection of the rural environment and a modern, sustainable and competitive agricultural industry. Professor W Bruce Traill, who is leading the Reading team, said: "Reading's research is timely: Common Agricultural Policy reform is shifting farm policy away from traditional production support. Meanwhile, concern with diet-health relationships is moving nutritional goals to the policy front-line, with major implications for food demand and land use." The research will examine the potential for development of sustainable food chains (concentrating on ruminant livestock and fruit and vegetable production systems) capable of delivering healthy foods at prices consumers are willing to pay; assess the impacts of change on diet and health as well as land use and the rural environment (including impacts on landscape and biodiversity) and economy; and investigate policy options for achieving desirable outcomes. The research project brings together economists, psychologists, ecologists, nutritionists and plant and animal scientists. End For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer. T: 0118 378 7388 E: c.hillsley@rdg.ac.uk

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