The University of Sheffield Sustainable Food Futures (SheFF) tackles global food security through integrated interdisciplinary investigations of agri-food systems.

SheFF brings together world-class researchers from across the University, in all five faculties, in ten departments and in major collaborating research centres, institutes and groups, including Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), Sheffield International Development Institute (SIID), the Robert Hill Institute for Plant Science Research (RHI) and the P3 Centre of Excellence in Translational Plant Science (P3), the Human Nutrition Unit, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC). SheFF contributes to the UK eight northern universities (N8) consortium on resilience in the food supply chain. SheFF is a major contributor to the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures.

SheFF works with researchers, businesses, government, consumers and NGOs in the agri-food sector to assess the impact of environmental, political, economic, cultural and demographic change on food  systems and identify solutions to mitigate risks and successfully adapt. We have three over-arching objectives:

The development of advanced bio-environmentally based farming systems.

Biology, natural sciences and environmental engineering research will guide solutions to place agricultural production on a sustainable path; with lower energy and resource demand, manageable greenhouse gas and pollution impacts, increased resilience of crops against extreme weather and pests, and reduction of the present yield gap between genetic-potential and on-farm production.

The transformation of the food business and retailing sector

Business management, agro-environmental expertise, modelling and simulation methods, and greater understanding of the socio-technical systems underpinning consumer practices will be combined to develop new models of the agrifood system that enable food producers and distributors to maintain sufficient profits margins to sustain their businesses, while delivering a food supply that is more sustainable and healthier for consumers.

Embedding environmental and health improvements in global food production and consumption

Social science and public health expertise, together with theoretical insights and innovative methodologies from politics will enable the development of more sustainable patterns of production and consumption that provide safer food, healthier diets, with manageable environmental consequences in both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ economies.

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