Woman's hand picks up a green apple from a crate of green apples

Research cluster for Food Cultures in Transition

A multidisciplinary approach to make food more sustainable in challenging times

 

Many aspects of human life are affected by the ways in which people produce, distribute and consume food and drink. The cultures we create around food need to be healthy and fair, and environmentally sustainable.

The purpose of the multidisciplinary cluster for the study of Food Cultures in Transition (FoodCiTi) is to make food more sustainable in challenging times. The cluster is led by Professor Lisa Jack, Professor of Accounting in the Faculty of Business and Law. 

FoodCiTi is situated in the new field of sustainability transitions and its intersections with agri-food systems. We're concerned with changes that affect individual food choices, local provision of food and global food systems.

We follow the notion that food cultures are the practices, attitudes, beliefs and choices of individuals and groups, as well as the networks and institutions surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food. We're looking to learn from past and present food cultures to help design new futures for food that will sustain people and the planet. 

We explore food and drink from every angle and our researchers come from all areas of the University – science, humanities, business and law, technology and the creative industries. 

The cluster sits under the University's Sustainability and the Environment research theme.

 

FoodCiTi has 3 sub-themes that reflect our research strengths

People reaching for plates of food surrounded by a table busy with dishes of food

Sub-Theme 1: Ethics and Culture in Food

Led by Dr Laurel Forster, this sub-theme brings together our ethnographic, sociological and cultural history approaches to the research of food and food consumption. This research will feed into the other two sub-themes.

 

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Sub-Theme 2: Food and the City

 

Led by Prof Mark Xu, this sub-theme uses Portsmouth as a research site allowing us to investigate the challenges cities face, in terms of nutrition, for prevention of chronic disease; consumer behaviour; food inequality; supply chain security and use of urban spaces.

Peppers in plastic packaging

Sub-Theme 3: Innovation for Circular Economy and Food Integrity

Led by Dr Chris Simms, this sub-theme aims to extend our strong record of innovation projects on packaging and waste, cost models, food fraud, food integrity and AI solutions; and to develop interventions for the circular economy in food.

Meeting the food needs of the future

The ways food is produced and distributed have changed dramatically over the last 50 years and a new direction for UK food is needed. 

Sustainable food systems are of significant concern to governments. It is becoming apparent that current systems, particularly in developed countries, are neither secure nor sustainable. 

Countries are moving towards having National Food Policies, with the first phase of the UK policy being published in 2020. Our food systems should tackle issues such as food inequality, poor health outcomes and childhood obesity as well as sustainability and waste reduction. 

Our research aligns with the UN's Sustainability Goals and has links with the food and drink industry, policy makers, local government and campaigners across the world, particularly in less-developed countries.

Alongside our global focus, helping to transition the city of Portsmouth to a sustainable future is central to our work. This supports our strategy to be one of the leading civic universities. 

The city is one of the most densely-populated in Europe, with one of the UK's highest levels of food poverty and a prevalence of diet-related health issues. The city's port is the UK's fourth largest importer of non-EU fruit and vegetables, and the risk of flooding due to climate change exists alongside a high demand for local and sustainable food.

Aerial view of Portsmouth, University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth has high levels of food poverty and diet-related health issues. The city's port is the UK's fourth largest importer of non-EU fruit and vegetables.

Cluster members

Image of Professor Lisa Jack

Media ready expert

Professor Lisa Jack

  • Job Title Professor
  • Email Address Lisa.Jack@port.ac.uk
  • Department Accounting and Financial Management
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Mark Xu

Professor Mark Xu

  • Job Title Head of Operations and Systems Management
  • Email Address Mark.Xu@port.ac.uk
  • Department Operations and Systems Management
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
Image of Dr Laurel Forster

Dr Laurel Forster

  • Job Title Reader in Cultural History
  • Email Address Laurel.Forster@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Film Media and Communication
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Chris Simms

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Dr Chris Simms

  • Job Title Reader
  • Email Address bam21123@myport.ac.uk
  • Department Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Steve Fletcher

Professor Steve Fletcher

  • Job Title Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Director of the Sustainability and the Environment Research Theme
  • Email Address Steve.Fletcher@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of the Environment Geography and Geosciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan

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Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan

  • Job Title Associate Dean (Research)
  • Email Address deborah.suggryan@port.ac.uk
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Barry Smart

Professor Barry Smart

  • Job Title Professor of Sociology
  • Email Address Barry.Smart@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Education and Sociology
  • Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Sianne Gordon-Wilson

Media ready expert

Dr Sianne Gordon-Wilson

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer in Marketing
  • Email Address Sianne.Gordon-Wilson@port.ac.uk
  • Department Marketing
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Edward Smart

Dr Edward Smart

  • Job Title Senior Research Fellow
  • Email Address cam71265@myport.ac.uk
  • Department School of Energy and Electronic Engineering
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Cressida Bowyer

Dr Cressida Bowyer

  • Job Title Research Fellow
  • Email Address cressida.bowyer@port.ac.uk
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Lorenzo Stafford

Dr Lorenzo Stafford

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address Lorenzo.Stafford@port.ac.uk
  • Department Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Matthew Anderson

Dr Matthew Anderson

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer in Organisational Studies and Human Resource Management
  • Email Address Matthew.Anderson@port.ac.uk
  • Department Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

View full list of cluster members

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