UK supermarket chain Waitrose announced Friday that it will be the first retailer to lead a major investment scheme in doctoral training in food security and sustainability, partnering with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Waitrose is spearheading the initiative, collaborating with Lancaster University, the University of Warwick, the University of Reading and the agricultural research station Rothamsted Research.
The company's agronomy group, which involves fresh produce suppliers, will also be participating.
The investment of £19 million will support 189 doctoral research candidates over the next three years, contributing to industrial expertise and training skilled employees in the field.
The fifteen funded projects will focus on topics such as soil health, biodiversity, sustainable water management, investigations into minimising crop waste, as well as the use of chemicals.
Alan Wilson, Waitrose’s technical manager for fresh produce, said: "Our evidence shows that there is a clear need to provide new thinking to address the challenges involved in delivering a more secure and sustainable food system. This has the potential to really make a difference in changing how produce is cultivated in the future.”
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.