Empowering society with the best scientific knowledge to produce sufficient nutritious food whilst caring for the environment.
Undertaking cutting-edge agricultural science and innovation, in collaboration with others, to generate discoveries and knowledge with wide impact and outreach.
We’re working towards healthier farming systems. For the environment and for all of us.
Healthier, more nutritious food has long been one of our key goals. Sometimes that means finding ways to increase beneficial components - such as our high fibre bread work - and sometimes it means taking something harmful out – like when we removed acrylamide from wheat. Sometimes it means thinking outside the box, as happened when we produced omega-3 fish oils in a land loving plant. Regardless, it requires an unrivalled understanding of how nutrients get from the soil, via our food, to us (or as we like to call it ‘from the earth to the spoon’) and the complex biochemical pathways that underpin the natural world.
But healthier food will only really be of benefit if we can all have access to it. Food poverty and food security are currently high on the international agenda, and making sure all people and all nations, regardless of wealth, have access to the best quality foods is a must. Our work looks to find ways to get more out of staple crop plants such as wheat and rice, as well as improving the nutritional content of crops grown on depleted African soils.
Helping farming stay in tune with today - and get ready for tomorrow
Farming has not always been blameless with regards biodiversity loss, pollution, or carbon emissions. But we are working to help put that right by finding new ways to grow food in harmony with the environment – by tackling pests and diseases without the use of pesticides; to keep yields up without the use of man-made fertilisers; and by recruiting allies - from trees to insects – to improve the ecology of our farming system.
But we also know there are even greater challenges ahead – the global population is growing, its resources are dwindling, and there will be no hiding places from the ravages of climate change. Food and farming will be impacted too, and whether it’s breeding drought resistant crops or engineering plants to act as mini factories, our researchers are urgently seeking the brilliant solutions that will ensure the world’s food supply for decades to come.