What we do
Launched in February 2014 with an initial three years’ core funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF), the Food Research Collaboration (FRC) was founded by food academic and campaigner Professor Tim Lang, who recognised that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and academics were not working effectively together to generate and share the evidence needed to underpin the transition to a sustainable, healthy and fair food system.
The FRC is the only initiative in the UK dedicated to bringing together academics and CSOs with the mission of facilitating more effective collaboration between academics and CSOs to produce, share and use the evidence based knowledge needed to influence and improve UK food policy.
Based at the Centre for Food Policy (CFP) at City, University of London, we work with academics across disciplines and civil society across sectors, in an interlinked co-production model of briefing papers and events. This iterative and collaborative process allows us to capture their different types of knowledge to co-produce evidence that can be used to inform more effective advocacy and policy.
Since receiving an additional 3 years core funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in March 2017, we have embarked on a new phase of work with our CSO partners that will:
- Produce recommendations for specific changes to UK food policy post-Brexit
This work stream involves the co-production of well evidenced recommendations on how EU and UK food law should be maintained or changed to achieve a more integrated approach to food policy in post-EU Britain. It focuses on three food categories important for food systems sustainability, livelihoods and public health – fruit/vegetables, meat/dairy and sugary drinks/foods. Through mapping policies and the evidence of their outcomes, we will draft recommendations for specific policy changes for consideration by government, industry and NGOs.
- Develop a new model for UK food governance
In our second work stream we are working closely with civil society to develop a practical plan to achieve more effective governance of food policy. The work involves exploring how a more transparent, participatory and inclusive approach to the way policy decisions could more effectively deliver the model policy changes post-Brexit suggested by our work on the first objective. The result will be a proposed food governance model that civil society can campaign for.
- Provide evidence to drive progress on local food
To achieve our third goal, we are working with the Sustainable Food Cities (SFC) Network to produce accessible reviews of evidence that can be translated into practical guidance on what works at a local level. This work strand will focus on six key priority issues identified by the SFC network to ensure the guidance produced is used by them to drive significant positive change.