The University of Portsmouth is launching a unique food research cluster via an online symposium to explore, debate and answer some of the biggest questions facing society’s use of food.   The Futures for Food Symposium (Thursday 28th May 14:00-17:00) will unite industry, campaigners, government and international academics on a quest to develop a sustainable future for our food system.  

Every aspect of human life is affected by the ways in which people produce, distribute and consume food and drink.  The cultures we have created around food need to be healthy and fair, and environmentally sustainable.  We look to learn from past and present food cultures to help design new futures for food that will sustain people and the planet.

Event Speakers

As Partner and Creative Director of award-winning, integrated creative communications agency Carswell Gould, Ed has been a driving force in creativity and innovation for over two decades.

He’s directed the delivery of successful brand and marketing projects for a wide range of clients including; Compass Group, Marks and Spencer, Suzuki, The Solicitors Charity, MSC Software, BOC, Rentokil Initial, The Women’s Prize for Fiction as well as many universities and colleges.

Working with LEPS, economic and sector development organisations and government has resulted in him becoming a visible advocate for the Southern region. Ed has been involved in many initiatives aimed at raising the region’s profile, including the launch of Business South, the creation of the South Coast Design Forum and the development of Venturefest South, which showcases the region’s innovation economy. 

He also works extensively with the universities and colleges in the region and is a Visiting Fellow. He is a non exec director roles include The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Go!Southampton.  

International client work currently includes; Hexagon – a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions and Leadership4SDGs a Den Hague initiative focused on developing political leadership for successful delivery of Sustainable Development Goals. He played a central role in the development of the proposition working with the founder and alongside the Rt Hon Helen Clark (Former Prime Minister of New Zealand 1999-2008 and former UNDP Administrator 2009-2017) and representatives from PWC, McKinsey and Company and Club Madrid. 

Steve is Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Theme Director of the Sustainability and the Environment research, at the University of Portsmouth. 

As Theme Director, Steve aims to build on existing successes in ocean research by encouraging interdisciplinary, cross-University working.  He is keen to strengthen emerging potential areas of excellence, which include growing agendas around sustainable food and sustainable fashion. 

Steve also leads the University’s Revolution Plastics initiative – driving interdisciplinary research and innovation to solve challenges in areas as diverse as recycling, packaging and wastewater treatment.

One of the top 10 most-cited scientists in the field of Marine Policy (Google Scholar), with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and research reports, Steve’s expertise in ocean conservation has been developed during 20 years of research and practice. 

This has been recognised by his role as Ocean Lead of the International Resource Panel by UN Environment, and his former role as Chief Strategy Officer for the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Steve continues to work extensively with the UN family of ocean and biodiversity conventions, governments, agencies, businesses, universities and a wider network of international conservation organisations.

Professor Lisa Jack has been researching the food industry for 20 years, from the unique standpoint of accounting, performance measurement and finance. She is the author of ‘Benchmarking in Food and Farming: creating sustainable change’ and of several reports on agricultural accounting for The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) along with many research papers and media articles. Her work on food fraud following ‘Horsegate’ is included in the ‘Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks – Final Report’ and she has addressed industry workshops and conferences on using counter fraud to tackle the issues.

Lisa is currently working on projects for the UK Innovate, Food Standards Agency and the ECR Community Food Waste group to assess the costs and impacts of food crime and food waste. She was honoured to be the first speaker in City University’s Food Thinkers ‘Women Redesigning Food Systems’ series of seminars in January this year. In 2019, recognising the University of Portsmouth’s hidden talent in food research, she brought together the research group ‘Food Cultures in Transition’ which is formally launched with this event.

Becca is the Agriculture Manager for Fresh Produce, working as part of the wider CSR, Health and Agriculture Team at Waitrose and Partners. Before joining Waitrose and Partners, Becca worked for the National Farmers Union, where she represented farmers at both a local and national level. Becca started her career with G’s, a large farming company, as a Farm Management Trainee.

Paul Thomas is Managing Director of The Tomato Stall.  The Tomato Stall grow award-winning Isle of Wight tomatoes using sustainable farming methods. All their fruit is vine ripened & picked by hand to ensure it reaches its maximum flavour potential, which gives their delicious range of juices, sauces & roasted tomatoes that true tomato taste.

Paul’s journey and love affair with tomatoes began in April 2005. Having just returned for travelling in Australia and looking for a new challenge, he was introduced to ‘Isle of Wight Tomatoes’ and shortly afterwards began selling them direct to the consumer at Farmers’ Markets in London.  His passion for tomatoes is as strong now as it was then, forever looking for new, interesting and the tastiest varieties.  His favourite product by far is still our fresh tomatoes, especially some of the interesting small colourful varieties. They all have their own unique flavours that help create some of the most amazing salads.

Dr Chris Simms is a Reader in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, Research lead in Product and Innovation Research Group and the Knowledge Services Lead in the Faculty of Business and Law. He is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Chris has undertaken collaborative work with a number of large organisations within the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience working on Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects with small and medium sized companies, in particular the food and drink industry.

Chris has written over twenty refereed journal articles published in highly ranked journals, related to innovation management and new product development. He also published articles related to Marketing and Sales Management.

Chris leads operations and development at FoodCloud, a social enterprise based in Ireland with a vision for a world where no good food goes to waste. FoodCloud redistributes surplus food through its Hubs to charities across Ireland and links charities directly to surplus food in stores through its technology platform. This supports >9,000 charities across the UK and Ireland and has redistributed over 80million meals to date. FoodCloud works with the food industry in Ireland and all food retailers, with major retail partners in the UK through a partnership with FareShare and is supporting food banks globally to redistribute food at scale. Chris previously led supply chain and operations development at the Tesco group as well as leading its food waste strategy. As a consultant Chris, has also supported major retailers and businesses across Europe in designing and developing their operations in a challenging and changing market.

Dr. Jill E. Hobbs is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, and became a Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in 2017. Her research focuses on consumer behaviour, supply chain economics, and food policy. Her work has examined consumer trust and attitudes towards novel food technologies, public and private standards for food safety and food quality, the regulation of health foods in Canada and internationally, and the changing nature of agri-food supply chains. Jill is currently on sabbatical leave at Bournemouth University (until June 2020).

Barry has long standing research interests in the environmental consequences of our modern way of life, including research and publications on consumer culture and food.  Along with another colleague Dr Joseph Burridge, he was invited to participate in a research project on veganism, ethics and lifestyle led by Professor Kay Peggs (Kingston University, London) and a research monograph is currently in preparation.  

Relevant publications to date include Consumer Society: Critical Issues and Environmental Consequences (Sage 2010); an edited collection of research papers, Resisting McDonaldization (Sage 1999); ‘An unsustainable modernity: Democracy, the global climate emergency, and environmental ethics’, Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development, Issue 24, 2019, pp 24-42; ‘Ethical Consumption’, in the Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, 2019; `Sustaining: the environment’, in Being Sociological (second edition) edited by S Matthewman, L West-Newman and B Curtis: Palgrave-Macmillan 2013, pp 331-350; Digesting the modern diet: gastro-porn, fast food and panic eating’ in The Flaneur, (ed) K Tester, Routledge, 1994, pp 158-180;

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Hamish Renton is Managing Director of HRG Global.  A Food & Drink Expert with over 30 years’ experience working with global brands. Hamish set up HRA Global as a new kind of consultancy, one that combines professional and effective Market Research, Marketing and Commercial Services with a friendly, personal approach. Hamish holds degrees from Cambridge University, an MBA from Henley Management College and is a Chartered Member of both the Market Research Society (MMRS) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).  Hamish writes regularly for The Grocer, Water Innovation and Dairy Innovation magazines, chairs industry conferences such as the annual European Free From Expo, Allergy Show Conference, Global Dairy NPD Conference and also serves as a judge for awards such as the Grocer Gold awards and Food Bev Dairy Innovations awards. He coaches triathletes and cyclists in his spare time as a British Triathlon and British Cycling qualified coach.

Carla Brisotto is a Ph.D. in Design, Planning, and Construction from the University of Florida. Her research interests are agrarian urbanism, designing the countryside, and transformative design, drawing from theories of transformative and social learning. Her dissertation focused on the emergent design practice of urban agriculture. The study enlightens how installations are used as a method of persuasion and engagement of a community to develop and test resilient design concepts. Carla is currently a post-doctoral associate at FIBER where she is studying climate change adaptation strategies through transformative design. She has been teaching assistant for the College of Design, Construction and Planning and instructor for the UF Honors Program. She earned her architectural degree from IUAV and gained a professional license in 2001. Since then, she has been working in Italy and the United Kingdom for architectural firms as well as private clients on interior architecture, residential, and historic preservation projects. She has authored and co-authored publications on urban agriculture, drawings processes, and ecological design.