Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF)
The Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF) carries out world-class research into food geographies - with a special attention for the role of cities and regions.
The Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF) carries out world-class research into food geographies - with a special attention for the role of cities and regions.
It builds on the interdisciplinary expertise of our long–established food research community at the School of Geography and Planning and Sustainable Places Research Institute to promote research, teaching and post-graduate training in the area of sustainable urban and regional food systems.
- To design and take forward interdisciplinary and path-breaking research on urban and regional food systems.
- To provide a focus for the School’s already extensive policy, advisory and stakeholder engagement activities from global (FAO, European Commission, WFP and UN-HABITAT) to national/local (DEFRA, Scottish and Welsh Government) work.
- To disseminate research that contributes to meet today’s grand challenges about food security, sustainability and justice.
- To support the training, career development and funding of researchers working on sustainable food systems.
We aim to be an international reference point for academic research on (and positive political/practical action for) food and urban and regional development. We integrate and generate new research on governance, development and policy strategies relating to food sustainability, security and justice in both developed and developing countries.
Specifically, our current work focuses on:
- The opportunities for (and barriers to) to food security and sustainability.
- The implications of food policies on the spatial and socio-economic relationships between different actors in the food system and between rural and urban areas.
- The development effects of strategies that address the welfare and health needs of the human and animal population.
Our staff also have expertise and research interests in the relationship between conventional and alternative food networks, food consumption practices, the interplay between global and local food systems, community food growing, food policy and governance, public food procurement, food justice, animal geographies, and the community food sector.
- Sonnino, R. and Coulson, H. 2021. Unpacking the new urban food agenda: The changing dynamics of global governance in the urban age. Urban Studies 58 (5), pp.1032-1049. (10.1177/0042098020942036)
- Herman, A. 2021. Governing Fairtrade: ethics of care and justice in the Argentinean wine industry. Social and Cultural Geography 22 (3), pp.425-446. (10.1080/14649365.2019.1593493)
- Veissier, I. , Miele, M. and Mounier, L. 2021. Animal welfare official inspections: farmers and inspectors shared concerns. animal 15 (1) 100038. (10.1016/j.animal.2020.100038)
- Cakal, T. and Miele, M. 2020. ‘Workable utopias’ for socialchange through inclusion and empowerment? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Wales as social innovation. Agriculture and Human Values 37 , pp.1241-1260. (10.1007/s10460-020-10141-6)
- Herman, A. 2020. Building a politics of connectivity: intercultural in-commonness in Fairtrade. Antipode 52 (5), pp.1310-1330. (10.1111/anti.12633)
- May, J. et al., 2020. Food banks and the production of scarcity. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 45 (1), pp.208-222. (10.1111/tran.12340)
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2020. Frontier making in the Amazon: Economic, political and socioecological conversion. Key Challenges in Geography Switzerland: Springer. (10.1007/978-3-030-38524-8)
- Miele, M. , Lever, J. and Evans, A. 2020. Establishing a dialogue between ‘science, society and religion’ about religious slaughter.. In: Ramadan Al-Teinaz, Y. , Spear, S. and Abd El-Rahim, I. H. A. eds. The Halal Food Handbook. Wiley-Blackwell. , pp.343-352. (10.1002/9781118823026.ch21)
- Ioris, A. A. R. , Neto, V. J. and de Castro Barbosa, X. eds. 2020. Agroculture frontiers in the Amazon: contested histories, emerging cultures, national territorialities [As fronteiras agroculturais na Amazônia: histórias contestadas, culturas emergentes, territorialidades nacionais]. Universidade Aberta do Brasil, Brasília.
- May, J. et al., 2019. Welfare convergence, bureaucracy, and moral distancing at the food bank. Antipode 51 (4), pp.1251-1275. (10.1111/anti.12531)
- Lever, J. , Sonnino, R. and Cheetham, F. 2019. Reconfiguring local food governance in an age of austerity: towards a place-based approach?. Journal of Rural Studies 69 , pp.97-105. (10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.04.009)
- Herman, A. 2019. Asymmetries and opportunities: power and inequality in Fairtrade wine global production networks.. Area 51 (2), pp.332-339. (10.1111/area.12467)
- O'Neill, K. J. et al. 2019. 'Fractures' in food practices: exploring transitions towards sustainable food.. Agriculture and Human Values 36 , pp.225-239. (10.1007/s10460-019-09913-6)
- Blokhuis, H. J. et al., 2019. Safeguarding farm animal welfare. In: Vogt, M. ed. Sustainability Certification Schemes in the Agricultural and Natural Resource Sectors : Outcomes for Society and the Environment. Routledge. , pp.132-154.
- Moragues Faus, A. and Sonnino, R. 2019. Re-assembling sustainable food cities: An exploration of translocal governance and its multiple agencies. Urban Studies 56 (4), pp.778-795. (10.1177/0042098018763038)
- Sonnino, R. 2019. The cultural dynamics of urban food governance.. City, Culture and Society 16 , pp.12-17. (10.1016/j.ccs.2017.11.001)
- Evans, A. B. and Miele, M. 2019. Enacting public understandings: the case of farm animal welfare.. Geoforum 99 , pp.1-10. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.12.013)
- Sonnino, R. , Tegoni, C. L. and De Cunto, A. 2019. The challenge of systemic food change: Insights from cities. Cities 85 , pp.110-116. (10.1016/j.cities.2018.08.008)
- Herman, A. 2019. Assembling Fairtrade: practices of progress and conventionalisation in the Chilean wine industry. Environment and Planning A 51 (1), pp.51-68. (10.1177/0308518X18805747)
- Coulson, H. and Sonnino, R. 2019. Re-scaling the politics of food: place-based urban food governance in the UK. Geoforum 98 , pp.170-179. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.11.010)
- Ioris, A. 2019. Peasant farming in the Southern Tracts of the Amazon: The reluctant alterity of agribusiness. Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 18 (4) 12341525. (10.1163/15691497-12341525)
- Maughan, C. , Laycock Pedersen, R. and Pitt, H. 2018. The problems, promise and pragmatism of community food growing. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 33 (SI6), pp.497-502. (10.1017/S1742170518000200)
- Pitt, H. , Jones, M. and Weitkamp, E. 2018. Every city a food growing city? What food growing schools London reveals about city strategies for food system sustainability. Sustainability 10 (8) 2924. (10.3390/su10082924)
- Tamioso, P. et al., 2018. Perception of animal sentience by Brazilian and French citizens: the case of sheep welfare and sentience. PLoS ONE 13 (7) e0200425. (10.1371/journal.pone.0200425)
- Ioris, A. 2018. The politics of agribusiness and the business of sustainability. Sustainability 10 (5) 1648. (10.3390/su10051648)
- Herman, A. , Lahdesmaki, M. and Siltaoja, M. 2018. Placing resilience in context: Investigating the changing experiences of Finnish organic farmers. Journal of Rural Studies 58 , pp.112-122. (10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.12.029)
- Ioris, A. 2018. Seeding a narrow future and harvesting an exclusionary past: the contradictions and future scenarios of agro-neoliberalism in Brazil. Futures 95 , pp.76-85. (10.1016/j.futures.2017.10.003)
- Herman, A. and Goodman, M. K. 2018. New spaces of food justice [Editorial]. Local Environment 23 (11), pp.1041-1046.
- Herman, A. , Goodman, M. K. and Sage, C. 2018. Six questions for food justice [Commentary]. Local Environment 23 (11), pp.1075-1089. (10.1080/13549839.2018.1532401)
- Cloke, P. , May, J. and Williams, A. 2017. The geographies of food banks in the meantime. Progress in Human Geography 41 (6), pp.703-726. (10.1177/0309132516655881)
- Moragues Faus, A. and Marsden, T. 2017. The political ecology of food: Carving 'spaces of possibility' in a new research agenda. Journal of Rural Studies 55 , pp.275-288. (10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.08.016)
- Moragues Faus, A. , Sonnino, R. and Marsden, T. 2017. Exploring European food system vulnerabilities: Towards integrated food security governance. Environmental Science and Policy 75 , pp.184-215. (10.1016/j.envsci.2017.05.015)
- Colebrooke, L. and Miele, M. 2017. Eating art and the art of eating: unsettling the practices of taste. Performance Research 22 (7), pp.102-108. (10.1080/13528165.2017.1353203)
- Miele, M. et al. 2017. Implementation of the European legislation to protect farm animals: a case-study on French inspections to find solutions to improve compliance. Animal Welfare Journal 26 (3), pp.311-321. (10.7120/09627222.214.171.1241)
- Moragues Faus, A. 2017. Problematising justice definitions in public food security debates: towards global and participative food justices. Geoforum 84 , pp.95-106. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.06.007)
- Herman, A. 2017. Practising empowerment in post-apartheid South Africa: wine, ethics and development. Critical Food Studies Abingdon and New York: Routledge. (10.4324/9781315601960)
- Miele, M. et al. 2017. Transforming the rural: global processes and local futures. Research in Rural Sociology and Development Emerald.
- Ioris, A. 2017. Places of agribusiness: displacement, replacement, and misplacement in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Geographical Review 107 (3), pp.452-475. (10.1111/gere.12222)
- Miele, M. 2017. On sensing and making sense: Debate title: Better than text? Critical reflections on the practices of visceral methodologies in human geography. Geoforum 82 , pp.204-205. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.03.019)
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2017. Encroachment and entrenchment of agro-neoliberalism in the Centre- West of Brazil. Journal of Rural Studies 51 , pp.15-27. (10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.01.011)
- Lever, J. and Milbourne, P. 2017. The structural invisibility of outsiders: the role of migrant labour in the meat-processing industry. Sociology 51 (2), pp.306-322. (10.1177/0038038515616354)
- Sanderson Bellamy, A. and Ioris, A. A. R. 2017. Addressing the knowledge gaps in agroecology and identifying guiding principles for transforming conventional agri-food systems. Sustainability 9 (3) 330. (10.3390/su9030330)
- Evans, A. and Miele, M. 2017. Food labelling as a response to political consumption: effects and contradictions. In: Keller, M. et al., Routledge Handbook on Consumption. Routledge International Handbooks Routledge. , pp.233-247.
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2016. Rent of agribusiness in the Amazon: A case study from Mato Grosso. Land Use Policy 59 , pp.456-466. (10.1016/j.landusepol.2016.09.019)
- Clear, A. K. et al., 2016. Bearing an open “Pandora's Box”: HCI for reconciling everyday food and sustainability. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 23 (5) 28. (10.1145/2970817)
- Williams, A. et al. 2016. Contested space: The contradictory political dynamics of food banking in the UK. Environment and Planning A 48 (11), pp.2291-2316. (10.1177/0308518X16658292)
- Marsden, T. 2016. Exploring the rural eco-economy: beyond neoliberalism. Sociologia Ruralis 56 (4), pp.597-615. (10.1111/soru.12139)
- Sonnino, R. , Marsden, T. and Moragues Faus, A. 2016. Relationalities and convergences in food security narratives: towards a place based approach. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41 (4), pp.477-489. (10.1111/tran.12137)
- Sonnino, R. and Hanmer, O. 2016. Beyond food provision: understanding community growing in the context of food poverty. Geoforum 74 , pp.213-221. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.06.011)
- Sonnino, R. 2016. The new geography of food security: exploring the potential of urban food strategies. Geographical Journal 182 (2), pp.190-200. (10.1111/geoj.12129)
- Blay-Palmer, A. , Sonnino, R. and Custot, J. 2016. A food politics of the possible? Growing sustainable food systems through networks of knowledge. Agriculture and Human Values 33 (1), pp.27-43. (10.1007/s10460-015-9592-0)
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2016. The politico-ecological economy of neoliberal agribusiness: displacement, financialisation and mystification. Area 48 (1), pp.84-91. (10.1111/area.12240)
- Smith, J. et al., 2016. Balancing competing policy demands: the case of sustainable public sector food procurement. Journal of Cleaner Production 112 (1), pp.249-256. (10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.07.065)
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2015. The production of poverty and the poverty of production in the Amazon: reflections from those at the sharp end of development. Capitalism Nature Socialism 26 (4), pp.176-192. (10.1080/10455752.2015.1058835)
- Moragues Faus, A. and Morgan, K. 2015. Reframing the foodscape: the emergent world of urban food policy. Environment and Planning A 47 (7), pp.1558-1573. (10.1177/0308518X15595754)
- Ioris, A. A. R. 2015. Cracking the nut of agribusiness and global food insecurity: in search of a critical agenda of research. Geoforum 63 , pp.1-4. (10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.05.004)
- Morgan, K. 2015. Nourishing the city: The rise of the urban food question in the Global North. Urban Studies 52 (8), pp.1379-1394. (10.1177/0042098014534902)
- Morgan, K. J. 2014. The politics of the public plate. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 21 (3), pp.253-260.
- Marsden, T. K. and Franklin, A. 2013. Replacing neoliberalism: Theoretical implications of the rise of local food movements. Local Environment 18 (5), pp.636-641. (10.1080/13549839.2013.797157)
- Marsden, T. K. 2013. Sustainable place-making for sustainability science: the contested case of agri-food and urban–rural relations. Sustainability Science 8 (2), pp.213-226. (10.1007/s11625-012-0186-0)
- Marsden, T. K. 2013. From post-productionism to reflexive governance: Contested transitions in securing more sustainable food futures. International Journal of Rural Studies 29 , pp.123-134. (10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.10.001)
|Enabling the potentials of green growth: Stigma removal from pro-environmental business and consumer behaviour||The Finnish Academy, 2019-2025||Herman, PI: Minna Kaljonen (Finnish Environment Institute).|
|FOODTRAILS: Building Pathways Towards FOOD 2030-led Urban Food Policies||European Commission, Horizon 2020 Programme, €14 million, 2020-2024||Sonnino and Milbourne|
|Evaluation of Food Power||Sustain 2018-2021||Pitt|
|Drafting of the Framework for the Urban Food Agenda||Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, $28,000, 2017-2018||Sonnino (Expert advisor)|
|FOOD 2030 Expert Group||European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, €12,00, 2017-2018||Sonnino (Vice-Chair)|
|Transmango: Assessment of the impact of drivers of change on Europe's food and nutrition security||European Union, 2014-2018||Sonnino, Marsden and Moragues Faus|
|Farmers’ confidence in vaccines for bovine tuberculosis||DEFRA, 2010-2015||Enticott|
|Assessment of the application of the EU 2010 directive on meat chickens’ welfare||DEFRA, 2012-2014||Miele|
|An exploration of factors that influence the expansion of the area affected by endemic bTB||DEFRA, 2012-2014||Enticott|
|Urban, Peri-Urban and Regional Food Dynamics: Towards an Integrated and Territorial Approach to Food (PUREFOOD)||European Commission, 2010-2014||Sonnino|
|Pilot EU Centre on Animal Welfare and Research Network||EUWelNet’ EU DG-Sanco, 2013||Miele|
|Biodiversity and Food Security: Developing Collaborative Policy for Seagrass Conservation||Darwin initiative for UK Overseas Territories Challenge Fund, 2012-2013||Smith (participant)|
|Community action for climate change: Pathfinder learning review||Welsh Government , 2012-2013||Franklin|
|Assessing Sustainability in the Context of Food Security||Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 2012-13||Sonnino and Moragues Faus|
|Knowledge Brokerage Activities to Promote Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Linking Scientists, Policymakers and Civil Society Organizations (FOODLINKS)||European Commission, 2011-2013||Sonnino and Morgan|
|Growing a Healthy Older Population: Community and allotment gardening amongst older people in South Wales||National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, 2011-2013||Milbourne|
|Action Research: Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Valencia||Generalitat Valenciana, Spain, 2011-2013||Moragues Faus|
|Participation of small farmers in fair trade initiatives in Latin America: collective action, governance and social capital||Centre for Cooperation and International Development-UPV, 2011-2013||Moragues Faus|
|The halal meat market in Wales, potentials and barriers||Welsh Government, 2012||Miele|
|Sustainable agri-food systems and rural development in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (SUSTAINMED)||European Commission, 2011-2012||Moragues Faus (participant)|
|Forecast for the Future: Scaling Up the Community Food Sector||Plunkett Foundation, 2010-2012||Morgan and Sonnino|
|Planting Spaces, Growing Places: Community gardening in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods in the UK||Cardiff University, 2008-2012||Milbourne|
|Community Grown Food in Wales||Welsh Government, 2010-2011||Milbourne|
|Cultures of veterinary regulation||ESRC, 2008-2010||Enticott|
|Veterinary Capacity in Wales||Welsh Government, 2008-2010||Enticott|
|Framework of Action for the Urban Food Agenda||Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, £21,727.00||Sonnino|
|Implementing healthy and sustainable catering in Scotland's public sector||Scottish Government, £22,510||Sonnino|
|CERTAIN: Certification evaluation toolkit and methods for inspiring consumer trust in food producers||British Academy, £9,540|
Cardiff University Seedcorn Funding £6,640
|Sanderson Bellamy, Baker, Herman|
|Study on food in cities – innovation for a sustainable and healthy production, delivery and consumption of food in cities||Commission of the European Communities £7,804||Sonnino|
|The power of Fairtrade: Resilience, ethical development and wine networks||The Leverhulme Trust||Herman|
|Knowing to Grow: Increasing the Resilience of Plant-centred Food Production Skills||European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, £120,000||Pitt|
|The role and interplay between private and public governance within the land-coastal zone-sea interface and the impact on food security||British Academy, £311.371||Baker, Sanderson Bellamy and Cullen-Unsworth|
Professor of Governance and Development
- +44 (0)29 2087 6090
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, PhD Admissions Tutor
- +44 (0)29 2068 8680
Visit the School of Geography and Planning Events page if you're interested in related topics.
The Cardiff University Food Research Collective, together with partners, is running a series of workshops to collaboratively transform the Welsh food system and launch the Wales Sustainable and Just Food System Network Survey. This work aims to support a better understanding of the people, organisations and partnerships across Wales, who are working towards a sustainable and just food system, as well as highlighting where there are well-linked activities and where gaps might exist (geographically, in policy terms and with respect to resources). The results of an online survey will inform the development of a Wales Sustainable and Just Food System Network Map, which will be an open resource that anyone can interact with to support their activities.
This first workshop marks the start of a 12-month period of collaboration between food system stakeholders to create and enact an action plan for building a just and sustainable food system in Wales. After participating in this first workshop, we hope that you will join us in this process. This will include a further three workshops, occurring every three months, with some ongoing activities between workshops to continue to progress decided objectives. As a key stakeholder working towards food sustainability, health and/or food justice in the Welsh Food System, we would value your collaboration. The workshops will cultivate discussion and collaboration on topics such as: partnership building across the food system network; developing action plans according to collectively identified priority themes; applying for funding to support these action plans; and enacting action.
Appetite for Change
In October 2019 WISERD co-hosted a collaborative workshop with the Sustainable Places Research Institute and the Wales Governance Centre to discuss the environmental and social justice considerations of food systems in Wales. The event brought together a range of experts – including policy makers, civil society activists and other stakeholders to assess the major challenges facing current food systems, and to identify pathways towards creating a more sustainable and socially just system in Wales and beyond. The event was recorded by our fantastic visual facilitator Laura Sorvala.
Brexit and the future of food and farming
This event examined the impacts and possible future scenarios arising from Brexit in the food and farming sectors.
Since June 2016, the process of leaving the EU has highlighted the complex ways the farming and food sectors are connected to Europe through markets, regulation and policy. Brexit will require new systems of rural development, agricultural subsidies and ecosystem services, and new rules to address the sector's reliance on overseas labour.
Based on research with key stakeholders within the food and farming sectors over the last year, School of Geography and Planning's Professor Paul Milbourne, Professor Kevin Morgan and Dr Gareth Enticott and Dr Rebecca Sandover (University of Exeter) examined the key challenges facing food and farming, the potential future directions for food and farming and the views of overseas labour on Brexit currently working in the UK.
In Big Hunger, author Andrew Fisher argued that many key anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. His research finds that efforts to end hunger, reduce obesity, and reform farm subsidies are compromised by corporate interests.
Andrew Fisher has worked in the anti-hunger field for twenty-five years, as the executive director of national and local food groups, and as a researcher, organizer, policy advocate, and coalition builder. He has led successful efforts to gain passage of multiple pieces of federal food and nutrition legislation. Andrew Fisher was joined by a panel of practitioners and academic experts, including Katie Palmer, Food Cardiff, and Eleanor Sanders, Trussell Trust Cardiff, to discuss the challenges facing the anti-hunger movement in the UK and the opportunities for building a progressive food justice movement.