Feeding the Future, four years on: A review of innovation needs for British farming

Scientist examining plant_12671The NFU is reviewing and updating a key exercise which sets out the priorities for agricultural research over the next two decades.


In 2012, a group of industry organisations jointly commissioned a project to gather opinions about what the agriculture sector needed the scientific research community to prioritise over the next two decades. The project was funded by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) and undertaken by the National Farmers Union, the Agricultural Industries Confederation, Royal Agriculture Society of England, AHDB and NFU Scotland.

Click here to read the original report


A great deal has changed since Feeding the Future was published, not least the agricultural research funding landscape, the decision to leave the EU and advances in new technology. While most of the priority issues identified remain relevant, there are areas where the science or the emphasis has moved on.

In this context, the NFU decided to carry out a light-touch review of the research priorities element of the report to ensure continued relevance. The intention is to use this updated summary of industry priorities to re-engage with research funders, the academic community and other relevant decision-makers.

Short workshop sessions were held with the NFU’s six national commodity boards (Dairy, Livestock, Poultry, Combinable Crops, Horticulture, Sugar) and its Environment Forum; the Organic Forum, the National Pig Association Producer Group and the organisation’s regional boards were also given the opportunity to feed in their views. The original commissioning group and other contacts were invited to comment during the process.

The review will be launched at NFU Conference 2017 (February 21-22). During day one of the conference there will be three breakout workshops: Produce; Trade; Consume. The review will be delivered in the Produce workshop which will focus on “How our research landscape can better deliver what we need.”

It will also be published HERE on the first day of the conference – watch this space!

Last edited on: 22:12:2016

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