One of the most significant challenges currently facing humankind is to make enough food, for an active healthy lifestyle, available to a population which will probably rise beyond 9 billion within the next 30 to 40 years.
Climate change and a diminishing supply of essential resources for crop production (land, water, fertilisers, energy, labour) challenge this requirement to produce more food. The provision of these resources must be sustained while minimising any deleterious environmental effects of food production systems.
Increasing affluence means that people want to eat more and they want to eat differently, often aspiring to a more meat-rich and resource-demanding diet. More and more people now live in cities and these social changes challenge those committed to supplying more good quality food to more people.
While food production can determine food access and availability, more people can be adequately fed if food is distributed more equitably and less food is wasted. While subsistence farmers in less developed countries have some control over their own food provision, most of us live in a globally networked food system, where external shocks (eg. pandemics) can have dramatic local effects.
Recognising the importance of food provision in a sustainable way, since 2015 Lancaster University, in partnership with Waitrose, has developed this flexible online postgraduate training programme at PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc levels.