The international project team consists of a mix of academic and non-academic partners from seven countries across Europe (UK, France, Italy, Poland and Spain) and South America (Chile and Argentina). The project has provided a fantastic platform for the partners and wider food chain stakeholders to exchange experience, best practice and knowledge at international level in order to advance research and practice towards achieving sustainability in agriculture.
Co-ordinated by Dr Jorge Hernandez from University of Liverpool, the Plymouth team is led by Shaofeng, working with Associate Professor Lynne Butel, Professor Phil Megicks, Dr Carmen Lopez and Dr Lucas Manzoni (and Huilan Chen, Guoqing Zhao and Jiang Pan as early stage researchers).
The team have had wide access to, and learnt from, experts and organisations at all stages of the agricultural value chain, including farms, co-operatives, food processors, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and customers. A knowledge networking and mobilisation framework has been developed based on empirical research in various countries and regions, by taking into account value chain wide risks, uncertainties and resilience factors. The framework provides approaches to identifying and prioritising knowledge network types, mobilisation strategies and risk factors, as well as to establishing their impact on value chain efficiency and resilience.
The next stage of the work will investigate relevant implications for value chain management in agricultural practice such as seed selection, cauliflower planting optimisation, pumpkin shelf-life management, fresh lettuce packaging and distribution, and tomato processing and preservation.