N8 AgriFood appoints new Operations Director

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Universities across the North of England must take centre stage in the fight to solve the global food crisis, according to the new N8 AgriFood Operations Director.

Anthonia James, who has just taken up her new role at the N8 AgriFood programme, believes that the impact of the North’s research must not be underestimated and holds the potential to create real impact in the worldwide bid to help our food system adapt to the needs of the future.

She said: “The power of the N8 partnership lies in its multidisciplinary approach, which creates a very powerful, critical mass of expertise with the potential to create real change on a global scale and inspire other research areas to follow suit.”

Anthonia recently joined the N8 AgriFood team, where she will be responsible for the operational management and delivery of the programme. Her goal will be to maximise the impact of N8 AgriFood and to play a key role in sustaining the programme beyond 2020.

The N8 Research AgriFood Resilience Programme is part of the N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration between the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. N8 AgriFood was created to tackle the challenges facing the future of food systems in a collaborative, multidisciplinary and innovative approach.

Anthonia said: “Many of us may take for granted how food arrives on our plates every day and it’s fascinating to be able to see all of those different elements and how they impact on one another. You can’t address one part of the agri-food system without considering others. This is one of the unique features of the N8 partnership, it allows us to maximise our efforts by joining forces, enabling more significant impact”.

“The future of global food supply chains is under increasing threats from climate change and growing populations and it’s one of the biggest challenges facing our world today. N8 AgriFood’s research has a clear role to play in addressing this issue and ensuring future sustainability and I’m looking forward to being a part of that journey.”

N8 AgriFood’s main areas of collaborative research include sustainable food production, resilient supply chains and improved consumption and health.

Anthonia has 17 years’ worth of experience working in research management. For the last 11 years, she has worked at the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development at the University of Leeds. During that time she managed several EU funded projects and most recently has been programme manager of two Department for International Development funded research programme consortia.

Professor Katherine Denby, N8 AgriFood’s Academic Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Anthonia on board to the N8 AgriFood team as Operations Director. Her experience in programme management and enthusiasm for this new role will ensure that N8 AgriFood continues to deliver real change and innovation in our agri-food system”