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Can we reduce food waste in the supply chain from farm to fork?

  • Full or part time
    Dr M McAinsh
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The global food production system is under increasing stress both from an increase in demand for food (>50% rise in demand by 2050), and pressures on production. Currently, over one third of food produced globally (~1.3Bn tonnes) is wasted. In the UK alone, pre-consumer food waste (i.e. not in the home) accounts for 51% of this waste estimated to be over 15M tonnes per year. Reducing waste in the food chain by optimizing product quality/harvest time and the prevention and early detection of spoilage, is therefore essential to deliver global food security. This project will work with industry partner Suncrop Produce Ltd to investigate the use of smart technologies for predicting and optimizing quality and shelf-life of crops, including tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, and as a tool for the repurposing of crops in order to reduce waste in the food supply chain.
This funded project forms part of a BBSRC-funded Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. Between 2017 and 2023, the CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water, biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture. This project is based at Lancaster University.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in the Natural Sciences, such as Biology, Plant Science, Soil Science or Agriculture Biology.


Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 2018/2019 tax-free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.
For further details please contact Dr Martin McAinsh: [email protected] or for application queries contact Roz Wareing, [email protected] . Visit the Waitrose CTP Website
Follow the instructions on How to apply of the Waitrose CTP website

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