The goal of the Food Systems Institute is to bring researchers together to find solutions to problems such as hunger, food waste, productivity and global food affordability.
The University of Florida has announced the establishment of the UF/IFAS Food Systems Institute – a project to bring together top researchers and scientists to find solutions to feeding the world in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
“This institute brings together global engagement with what we call systems thinking – addressing world hunger by researching how every part of the field-to-fork process affects every other part. It’s a search for how to deliver the most abundant, nutritious and affordable food possible for the greatest number of people,” said Jack Payne, who recently retired as the UF Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of UF/IFAS.
Payne established the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) and co-developed the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems – two initiatives which aim to optimise sustainable, fair animal husbandry and influence policy decisions using food science and research. The new Food Systems Institute will combine these two initiatives, including faculty and projects associated with each.
“The complexity of the challenge has come home in a tangible way during the pandemic, with the seemingly contradictory phenomena of farmers ploughing under their crops for lack of markets while food banks are overwhelmed by the hungry,” Payne said.