Food Systems Resilience: Concepts and Practice

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Our second webinar of the year was carried out on the 13th of March with John Ingram from the University of Oxford, and Rosemary Collier from the University of Warwick speaking on the concepts and practices within Food System Resilience.

The webinar started with John Ingram presenting an overview of what resilience entails within the food system in terms of the activities, outcomes, drivers, shocks, actors, and the time period of concern. IFSTAL students will note that these concepts tie in with the learnings about the components of the food system from Unit 1. Dr Ingram then explored the notions of robustness, recovery, reorientation, and reorganization within food systems, and how resilience could be increased throughout.

The launch of the ‘Resilience of the UK Food System in a Global Context’ which is a major interdisciplinary research program reflects the need of optimising resilience of food systems. For more information, click here

Dr Collier then honed down on resilience in crop production systems, and explored the role of crop characteristics, breeding and cropping practices, and the value of soil quality. She pointed that in the drive of enabling crops to be produced intensively, many resilience attributes have been bred out, a factor that is now being actively re-introduced into major crops. She also discussed how poly culture practices like companion planting and agroforestry can help in improving crop resilience, along side habitat manipulation.

Investigating resilience at the level of producers, and retailers, Dr Collier emphasised that like ecosystems, resilience emerges from diversity  of practices.

The webinar can be viewed at the following link – viewers are strongly encouraged to contribute their views in the comments below.




Blog post by Saher Hasnain, Education Coordinator, University of Oxford

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