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UKRI BBSRC community workshop - creating a network on quality and food loss in horticulture

Copyright: sabafineartphoto on Flickr by CC 2.0
Date: 31 January 2019, 10:00 - 16:00
Venue: Central London

BBSRC is organising this workshop.

Application deadline: 3 January 2019, 17:00


Globally, over one third of food produced across the whole food chain is wasted. In the UK, 51% of the food wasted is pre-consumer (i.e. during either the agriculture, post-harvest, distribution or processing stages). A significant proportion of food loss relates to the inherent physiology of the produce, poor control of post-harvest biology, and the efficacy and appropriateness of the control systems applied. In consultation with the academic and industrial research community, we have identified that there is an essential role for bioscience to play in reducing food loss and maximising value and efficiency of the food system. In considering these areas, BBSRC will focus on quality and food loss in horticultural crops and potatoes. This reflects the proportionally high levels of wastage, the high-value nature of the produce, and the level of industry and policy interest.

With this in mind, BBSRC are holding a community workshop to bring together academic and industry experts in areas of quality traits and reducing food loss, with the overall aim of creating a focussed network. The BBSRC areas of focus in reducing food loss, as defined in the AFS Strategic Framework (see: Research in Agriculture and Food - Strategic Framework (PDF)), are:

  • Enabling more effective prediction and better control of harvesting windows by understanding the underpinning developmental biology of crops
  • Optimising uniformity and physical traits by exploiting crop genetics
  • Reducing the risks of spoilage by understanding and managing the relevant biological processes
  • Minimising losses within the food system by understanding and controlling the fundamental biology that influences food storage and shelf-life


The aims of the community workshop is to:

  • Share BBSRC’s strategic interests in quality traits and reducing food loss in horticultural crops to the community
  • Bring together expertise in plant science, crop science, horticulture and post-harvest to discuss the aims and objectives of the network
  • Provide an opportunity for the community to develop a proposal for a UK network on quality traits and reducing food loss in horticultural crops


In order to be eligible, researchers should be:

  • employed as a researcher at a UK Higher Education Institute, Research Institute, or Independent Research Organisation that is eligible to receive grant funding from the Research Councils. More information about eligibility for Research Council funding see UK Research and Innovation: Eligibility for funding. Researchers based outside of the UK will not be eligible
  • working in the fields of quality traits and/or reducing food loss (as defined above) in plant/crop science

Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate evidence of expertise and skills that they will bring to the community network. In the event of high demand, we will aim to ensure appropriate balance and diversity of representation of scientific interests and institutions amongst participants.

How to apply

BBSRC would like to enable a broad range of researchers with interest in activities related to quality traits and reducing food loss, and therefore are inviting expressions of interest (EOI) from the research community.

EOI for the community workshop is via Key Survey: UKRI BBSRC Community workshop – creating a network on Quality and Food Loss in Horticulture (read our Terms of use: Key Survey).

The deadline for EOI for the community workshop is 3 January 2019, 17:00.

Space at the community meeting is limited, therefore attendance will be reviewed by an internal selection process to ensure a broad representation of expertise. Your attendance will be confirmed w/c 14 January 2019.

If you are an industrial representative who has an interest in quality and food loss, and would be interested in participating and contributing to a network, please contact Laura Pritchard on the email below.

Header image copyright: sabafineartphoto on Flickr by CC 2.0.