Nuffield Scholars from 11 countries have recently visited Brazil on the Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) to learn from industry experts, farmers and government representatives.
During the two-week conference, two issues were brought to the fore, the need to communicate with consumers and the importance of educating them about food and farming. However, it was also recognised that agriculture must move with the times to meet the demands of a growing population.
The upcoming Nuffield International ‘Farming Fit for Food’ conference day on 8 June is set to tackle some of these issues and find practical solutions. Speakers from all areas of the supply chain will provide suggestions for improving communication with the general public and meeting the demands of the ever-changing consumer.
Nuffield Scholar and CSC delegate, Georgina Crayford, witnessed first-hand how farming practices are adapting to meet consumer expectation, during her time in Brazil, and it is hoped that the ‘Farming Fit for Food’ conference can inspire similar initiatives in the UK.
“We met with organisers of an initiative called Novo Campo, that works with Brazilian beef farmers operating on deforested land, to help them become more efficient, and therefore prevent them from expanding further into the rainforest,” says Georgina.
She explains that these farms are able to meet the demand of global companies, such as McDonalds, for verified sustainable zero deforestation beef. Working in collaboration with major companies has helped these farmers to secure markets for their beef, while promoting the work being done to conserve the rainforest to consumers.
“I thought this partnership was particularly inspiring, and an excellent example of how partnerships between different players in the supply chain can deliver real benefits to consumers.
“I’ll be taking this knowledge, and other ideas that help to combat some of the disconnect between food and farming, back to the UK to share with fellow industry professionals, in hope that we can implement something similar in our own country.”
Having spent two weeks away on the CSC before starting her own study based on pig production, Georgina encourages anyone considering a Nuffield Scholarship to just go for it. “If you put off applying once, you’ll put it off forever and regret it.
“Nuffield is all about developing individuals to become ambassadors for British agriculture, so don’t worry about your insecurities, Nuffield will help you to overcome these,” adds Georgina.
Applications for 2018 Nuffield Farming Scholarship are now open to individuals aged between 22 and 45 years old, with a desire to research a topic in farming, food, rural and related industries, while travelling the globe in order to advance British agriculture.
Applications close on 31 July 2017, please visit www.nuffieldscholar.org to find out more and submit your application.