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Food policy expert addresses Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee

22 March 2019

Image of Terry Marsden

Professor Terry Marsden, Director of Sustainable Places Research Institute, addressed the issue of Brexit and agriculture before the National Assembly for Wales’ Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee on Wednesday 20 March 2019.

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee are carrying out an inquiry into food and drink policy in Wales. The evidence session was focussed on food branding and processing.

Professor Terry Marsden researches the interdisciplinary social science and applied policy fields of rural geography, rural sociology, environmental sociology, geography and planning. His body of work ranges from original theoretical work in the field, through to empirical analysis and emerging policy impacts and analysis.

His research includes wide ranging work on the socio-economic restructuring of agriculture; theorisations and empirical investigations of rural development; analysis of agri-food chains and networks; and critical commentaries in the emerging fields of environmental sociology and environmental planning.

Professor Marsden said: “We need in Wales to develop the capacity to transform the system of food in Wales, both in terms of diet, health and production and supply. There's a concerted effort needed for the growth of horticulture in Wales and finding ways we can incentivise that process from production through to food hubs, through to diversifying outlets in our towns and cities and schemes such that it can go to market. We've got some great examples, of course, but there is land available. There is capability in Wales to produce a lot more."

Professor Marsden added: “There are questions about not only levels of investment or sources of investment for the food processing sector; we need to develop a distributed regional system of hubs for food processing and food outlets, and we need to look at that strategically across Wales. There are all sorts of issues about the declining and hollowing out of food infrastructures, and we should be much more proactive about developing a new generation of food processing, which also involves new types of artisanal production.”

Sustainable Places Research Institute has an international reputation for delivering relevant, robust, research that is used by policymakers across Wales, the UK and further afield to support evidence-based policy making.

A full transcript of the session can be viewed online.

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