Unlocking change

Food Research Collaboration

The Food Research Collaboration (FRC) is the only initiative in the UK dedicated to bringing together academics and civil society food organisations to produce and share the evidence-based knowledge needed to influence and improve UK food policy.

RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission report



Uncertainty around Brexit and the years afterwards mean food policy is being scrutinised and revised. FRC is uniquely well placed to support and inform efforts of those seeking a fairer and more sustainable food and farming system for the UK.

Impact goals

Sustainable and ethical food

  • Nature-friendly farming
Laurence Scott, Funding Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation:

The FRC's track record of achieving change was impressive. It is well-led, has exceptional access to the right expertise and has quickly emerged as an authoritative voice in food policy thinking.  We recognised that the FRC’s work will be particularly important now, as there are considerable threats, as well as opportunities when food policy is scrutinised and revised during the lead up to Brexit and the years immediately thereafter.

Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive, Sustain:

Working with the Food Research Collaboration has been a very important opportunity for Sustain and our members to go into depth on vital issues on which we are advocating for change. We were able to bring new rigour to our alliance work on the sugary drinks tax – enabling us successfully to win the case. FRC is also being very helpful in linking the Sustainable Food Cities network (which Sustain helps run) with research and evaluation expertise, vital to make the case for local action.

Working with FRC, we have been able to draw in essential expertise supporting our investigations into agricultural labour; also the implications of Brexit for the food and farming system.

Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive, Sustain

This will become ever more important over the coming years. The FRC has the ‘pulling power’ to convene those with expertise and links in academia, policy-making, business, law and civil society – so essential to understanding both the ramifications of Brexit, and the potential for building a new regulatory framework fit for the future. FRC has also lent its expertise to early discussion by the CSO movement, about the potential for championing an Act of Parliament – a new framework for healthy and sustainable food, farming and fishing.

Clare Pettinger, Lecturer Public Health Dietetics, School of Health Professions, Plymouth University:

I have attended two FRC participatory workshops both of which offered great insight into the excellent work done by the FRC, as well as the opportunity for me to network and learn from other academics and CSOs working in the remit of food research. 

Similarly, following an FRC workshop, I co-authored a paper ‘Using the arts for food research and dialogue’ which has recently been published on the FRC website. This collaboration has enriched my national network and enhanced impact of my own research. 

I use the FRC website regularly for personal use, but also signpost my students and other local (food) colleagues to it, as it is such a unique and rich resource with relevant topical policy reviews that support evidence-based practice.

Clare Pettinger, Lecturer Public Health Dietetics, School of Health Professions, Plymouth University