AHDB commits £5m to fix fragmented farming innovation pipeline

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is committing £5m to fund Britain’s next generation of agricultural experts in an effort to overhaul the industry’s “fragmented” innovation and skills pipeline.

It will plough the funds into supporting PhD university students over the next five years, following its recent report which identified a UK productivity gap worth over £4bn in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Climate change research centre to protect world’s most vulnerable communities

A new research centre that will support communities threatened by climate change was launched at the University of Reading by former Irish President and UN human rights high commissioner Mary Robinson.

The Reading Centre for Climate and Justice is dedicated to putting justice at the heart of understanding the problems caused by climate change, and finding solutions to protect those most vulnerable to them. It seeks to deploy expertise at the University to identify gaps in knowledge, and emerging areas, that would benefit from a justice-focused approach.

Workshop series brings together African researchers, businesses and policy maker

A series of workshops is bringing together African researchers, businesses and policy makers to explore how knowledge exchange could help provide safe, sustainable water.

Lancaster University staff delivered the first of five week-long Knowledge Exchange workshops, to initiate the start of the £7M RECIRCULATE project, supported by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

RECIRCULATE aims to build capacity within Africa to carry out and translate high quality research into the new products, processes and services needed to solve the continent’s water crisis.

Waitrose products will be black plastic packaging free by end of 2019

…And black plastic will not be used for Waitrose meat, fish, fruit and veg by end of this year.

Waitrose has pledged to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019 – this is the earliest date a supermarket has committed to removing black plastic from its shelves.

Reducing the use of plastics is a top priority for Waitrose, which has already removed 65% of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging. The retailer will stop using black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of 2018.

Last year the warmest year on record without an El Niño

Provisional figures for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that last year, 2017, was the warmest year on record without the influence of warming from El Niño.

When viewed alongside 2015 and 2016 – both of which were dominated by a significant El Niño – last year was the second- or third-warmest year for annual global temperatures since 1850.

Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia‘s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit produce the HadCRUT4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperature.

Waitrose to Stop Selling Packs of Plastic Straws by September 2018 and Reduce Black Plastic Trays

© WaitroseThe supermarket Waitrose will remove black plastic trays from meat, fish and fruit and veg ranges by end of year.

The retailer has today announced that it will stop selling packs of disposable straws from September 2018. This builds on its track-record for being the first supermarket to stop selling items containing microbeads from September 2016 and switching exclusively to paper-stem cotton buds. Plastic straws will be replaced by non-plastic alternatives.