The Welsh Government strongly supports its food and farming industries and has published a consultation document, “Delivering Growth: an Action Plan for the Food and Drinks Industry”. The aim of the plan is to grow this sector in Wales and the Minister for Natural Resources and Food proposes a 30% uplift in turnover by 2020. Red meat and dairy production are important but there is also a sizeable poultry industry. The action plan is also ambitious for Welsh fisheries and proposes to increase the share of fish sold in the UK and abroad, which has been caught or grown in Wales. A key factor in achieving these targets is the development of a research-led centre of excellence that puts state-of-the-art science at the heart of Welsh Government policy. The new centre based at Swansea University will work with food chain stakeholders to improve food security, including food safety and animal welfare in Wales and beyond.
CEFS targets two of the three main priorities of the EU with regards to Food Security, namely Research, technology transfer and innovation to enhance food security (priority 1) and Strengthened governance approaches for food security (priority 2). By working with the main stakeholders in industry and the government we aim to foster collaborations relevant for all parties in terms of research objectives, planning for funding bids and enhancing innovative practices and research approaches to food security (priority 1) as well as providing advice and guidelines for governance in food security at regional, national and international scale (priority 2).
CEFS aims to:
- Engage all stakeholders in relevant industry sectors and UK Government bodies
- Seek funds from UK Government agencies, the EU and industry for infrastructure and research projects undertaking a mix of pure and applied research
- Provide a platform for collaborative research and knowledge transfer with stakeholders in Welsh industry and beyond
- Hold meetings and symposia on food security for all relevant UK stakeholders
- Provide advice and help on food security and safety for the UK Government
- Create of a network of future research leaders (current postdocs and PhD students) in the field of Food Security for Wales and the UK, with influence in the rest of the EU