£30M food research centre for Belfast underway

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Elliott: 'We must produce food of greater quality'
Elliott: 'We must produce food of greater quality'

Related tags: Northern ireland, Food, Food security, Agriculture

A £30M food research centre is being developed by Queen’s University, Belfast, as an extension to its existing Institute for Global Security, which is pioneering work on food security systems.

The new facility is intended to help develop strategies to enable food production to keep pace with the rapidly growing number of people in the world. It is also designed to boost the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland by supporting the growth of local sustainable food production.

“Obviously, we want to build on this standing for the future,”​ said Professor Chris Elliott, who heads up the Queen’s University institute and advised the UK government during the recent horsegate crisis.

‘Lifelong health benefits’

“Our objectives are to make a real difference when it comes to addressing the challenge of feeding the extra two billion people that will make up the world's population in 30 years’ time. There is also the challenge in delivering lifelong health benefits.

“The fundamental challenge facing agriculture in Northern Ireland is that of developing a sustainable future against a backdrop of markets that are becoming truly international. As a consequence, we must produce food of greater quality. In addition, the farming and food industries must become more consumer-focused.”

The institute is at the heart of Northern Ireland’s ‘Food Fortress’ strategy and has contributed to the region’s standing and the development of a strong animal feed traceability and insurance scheme. Almost all of Northern Ireland’s animal feed was now covered by that scheme, according to trade body Invest Northern Ireland.

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