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T-GRAINS: Transforming and Growing Relationships within regional food systems for Improved Nutrition and Sustainability

This multi-institutional project will explore whether a regional-based UK food system can provide healthy and sustainable diets, and if resilience in the system can be achieved through strengthening social capital among food system stakeholders.

In collaboration with Rothamsted ResearchNewcastle UniversityNorthumbria University and Scotland Rural College, the project seeks to increase the proportion of a healthy diet comprised of food produced regionally.

Focussed on two different case study regions, East Anglia (dominated by arable and horticulture) and South Wales (dominated by livestock systems), T:GRAINS will explore how regional UK landscapes can deliver healthy food sustainably and whether new and equitable relationships between those involved in the food chain can drive more sustainable production and consumption practices.

As part of the research, the team will also assess the impact that directly connecting consumers to producers can have on household food culture to achieve healthy diets and more sustainable food production, exploring the current and future role that social media (for example Twitter) plays in building and strengthening producer-producer and producer-consumer relationships and how this could be exploited further.

Funded through the Global Food Security’s ‘Resilience of the UK Food System Programme’ with support from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Scottish government.

Lessons learned: TGRAINS household interview study

The TGRAINS Interview study is a longitudinal study to find out whether or not building relationships between people and the source of their food impacts household food culture.

Download the interim report

Project team

Dr Alice Milne

Dr Alice Milne, Rothamsted Research

Agricultural Systems Modeller; Spatial Statistician

Susanna Mills

Dr Susanna Mills, Newcastle University

Associate Clinical Researcher

Elliot Meador

Dr Elliot Meador, Scotland Rural College

Researcher of rural economy and society

Dr Ella Furness

Dr Ella Furness

Research Associate

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