Knowledge for a sustainable world

Promoting food safety through consumer awareness, is an important strategy to increase the health and wellbeing of the global population. With this in mind, and as part of the Growing Kent and Medway’s business innovation voucher project, NRI’s Dr Stacey Duvenage and Fermenti’s Marie-Laure Prevost joined forces to promote food safety and the importance of a healthy gut microbiome.

This year NRI participated in the European Symposium of the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) which was held in Aberdeen, Scotland from May 3 – 5, 2023. The IAFP is the international association for professionals within the field of food safety. This year’s theme was ‘Advancing Food Safety Worldwide by providing members with a forum to exchange information on protecting the global food supply.’

This year sees the fifth World Food Safety Day (WFSD) take place on 7 June 2023. Organised by the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the aim is to ‘draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, while contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism and sustainable development’. NRI’s Dr Stacey Duvenage, a lecturer in food safety explains why food safety matters.

Urgent policy action is necessary if several African countries are to achieve the targets of the Malabo Declaration on African Agriculture. Recognising this, the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) organised a discussion forum to deliberate on current challenges in meeting these targets.

As part of the Transformative Change for Sustainable Development Seminar Series, NRI was pleased to welcome Professor Andy Sumner of King’s College London to present his research, which critically examines global poverty and inequality assessment.

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich, has been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 certificate for its management of information security, marking a significant milestone in the Institute's and the University’s commitment to data security.

One of NRI’s flagship projects has won new and important funding to take it up to December 2023. The African Cassava Whitefly Project (ACWP) was formed in 2015 to increase the productivity of cassava, a nutritious root crop, and reduce food insecurity for millions of sub-Saharan African farmers, by discovering solutions to its most devastating pest and disease problems.

NRI’s Food Accelerator Programme showcased its rising stars and new entrants - all of whom are developing plant-based food and drink products – at the three-day food and drink festival, held in the gardens of historic Rochester Castle.

A team from the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) has won a prestigious research grant from the UK Research and Innovation and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs programme: ‘One Health approach to vector-borne diseases’. The aims of the research programme are to forecast, mitigate and avoid vector-borne diseases that threaten the UK, such as Lyme disease which is transmitted by ticks. The scientists aim to discover if grey squirrels, which carry young ticks – the ones most responsible for Lyme disease transmission to humans - can be sustainably managed by using contraceptive baits to lower the population.

A momentous agreement was reached on 4th March 2023, when negotiators from more than 190 countries agreed on the first international treaty to protect the high seas, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement.

In early 2020, Harrison Hardy began his PhD on climate-adapted rice agricultural systems and was looking forward to various research trips to irrigated rice fields in Africa to research levels of malaria transmission. However, his travel plans were abruptly halted by the Covid-19 pandemic. He found himself restricted to a solitary UK laboratory where he made a surprising discovery about the effects of different types of organic manure on mosquito larvae. Harrison takes up the story.

Prabath Jayasuriya came to the UK from his home country Sri Lanka, to follow his passion for chemistry by studying for his Master’s degree in Food Safety and Quality Management at NRI, University of Greenwich. It was a school science lesson, a lump of sodium and some water, that first ignited his interest for doing experiments in a lab. Prabath takes up the story.