Knowledge for a sustainable world

MSocSci, DipAgDev, BA Hons
Professor Ben Bennett
Deputy Director, Professor of International Trade and Marketing Economics and Deputy Faculty Director, Research and Enterprise (NRI)


Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3449

Professor Ben Bennett has been with the Natural Resources Institute for 24 years, much of it spent overseas as a policy advisor in Namibia and the Philippines. His work has been largely in the field of trade and market economics for tropical commodities in developing countries with a particular focus on aspects of agricultural value chains for novel products. He has undertaken consultancy and research in over 30 countries working on cereals, legumes, horticulture, fisheries, fibres, non-timber forestry products, livestock, oilseeds and industrial crops. Professor Bennett is known for my value chain analysis work on many different commodities as well as market research for primary and secondary products. He has long experience in leading research and consultancy teams including complex evaluations and reviews for major multi-national bodies and donors. He has an interest in the marketing of wild harvested natural products and the relationship between markets and conservation of natural resources. He has supported a number of trade negotiations including SADC, COMESA and SACU and led an international effort to improve Trade Capacity Building, particularly in the area of standards.

Professor Bennett's work on agricultural and wild harvested value chains brings farmers and harvesters into the formal economy and improves livelihoods. He is particularly interested in post harvest losses and their impact on incomes in developing countries.

Professor Bennett is an authority on the economics of post harvest losses in developing countries. Recent research has included contributions to the UK Foresight Commission (Hodges, Busby and Bennett, 2010) and a global initiative to reduce food lost to consumption (World Bank, 2011), and Principal Investigator on the EC FP7 project "Gains from Losses in Roots and Tubers" (GRATITUDE). This research builds upon work he did as an early career researcher for NRI on the economics of post harvest losses in fisheries (Bennett, 1991), oilseeds (Bennett, 1992), animal feed (Coker and Bennett, 1992, Bennett and Watson, 1990, 1990 and 1991) and grains (Bennett, 1992).

He is considered a practice leader in the field of value chain analysis for tropical agriculture, forestry and fisheries products. He was invited to contributed to UN Expert Panel on the value chain analysis which has resulted in new approaches to understanding industrial and agricultural markets (the UNIDO Diagnostic Tool – see

  • Member of the Development Studies Association
  • Associate Editor of the Journal Food Chain
  • Director of the Indigenous Natural Products Project, Namibia
  • Member of the Board, mFarmer
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