Jamie joined the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies in October 2014 after completing his PhD in Resilient Food Supply Chains. His current research focusses on resilience in food supply chains and food waste valorization. Previous to this post, Jamie graduated from the University of Warwick with an MSc in Food Security. This examined a broad range of topics influencing current and potential future global food security. These included climate change, challenges and advances in agronomy, population growth, drivers for change in the global food system and ecosystem services and environmental accounting. Jamie also has voluntary experience of working for small not for profit organisations (international development and community sustainable development), as well as some political experience (interning with an MP and parliamentary monitoring roles).
Contemporary UK Food Supply Networks are able to offer a huge and previously unimaginable variety of safe and competitively priced food products to UK consumers. A number of changes over recent decades have enabled this, including globalisation of supply chains based on a centralised manufacturing and “leaning” of supply networks so as to remove all non-value adding features. The benefits of such an approach are substantial, but so too is the risk, when the non-value adding features which are cut include traditional buffers against disruption and when national food reserves are a thing of the past.
In light of current and projected supply chain volatility caused by such stressors as climate change, population growth and dietary transition, it is increasingly realised that the UK’s food supply networks must be made more resilient. Yet resilience is something of a buzzword, used interchangeably with related themes such as sustainability, and with poor consensus of definition, let alone its practical implications for food as a unique resource. This project explores what resilience means in the context of UK food supply chains and how it can be practically enhanced.
Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems
This research investigates how the increasingly popular topic of resilience in supply chains can be adapted to suit UK Food and Drink Manufacturers. This is particularly timely given the growing volatility facing Food and Drink Manufacturers, who as a result of their highly globalised supply networks and small number of capital intensive sites are particularly exposed to disruption from factors as diverse as climate change to fluctuating energy costs and growing competition for raw materials. In response, this research a conceptual framework and practical toolkit which enable Food and Drink Manufacturers to accurately identify their unique vulnerabilities and mitigate these in a way that is complimentary to the wider sustainability of the organisation. Jamie also has voluntary experience of working for small not for profit organisations (international development and community sustainable development), as well as some political experience (interning with an MP and parliamentary monitoring roles).
Food Waste Valorization
This research explores opportunities for valorizing a number of unavoidable food waste streams, specifically, brewery spent grain, pea vine waste, out of specification citrus fruits, and out of specification potatoes. These opportunities are evaluated based on their circular economy potential. This involves a combination of cost modelling and Life Cycle Analysis, alongside consideration of waste volumes, patterns of generation, possible contamination issues, seasonality and societal barriers to uptake.
Outside of his research Jamie is involved in a number of activities including:
a. Policy Engagement- Jamie has recently taken part in a national Global Food Security Organisation policy workshop and has previously been involved with submission of evidence to House of Commons Select Committees and the organisation of public policy debates.
b. Science Outreach- Jamie is frequently involved in a range of outreach activities including schools workshops and talks.