By Chase Sova.

Twenty years ago, negotiators from around the world came together in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The goal: to identify global principles for agricultural exchange. Export subsidies in the late ‘80s from industrialized economies like the United States resulted in the dumping of cheap agricultural products in developing countries, undermining local producers. These and other trends fueled efforts to correct growing inequalities in an increasingly globalized food system. Yet given food security’s central role in national security and an evolving belief in food security as a fundamental human right, an agreement on agriculture was slow to be reached.

Today, the world has come together again, and while the conversation has shifted toward the urgent need to tackle climate change, the same agricultural challenges remain.  Nearly 1 billion people across the world are food insecure or undernourished; populations continue to grow in sub-Saharan African (SSA) and South Asia; and food systems face severe impacts from a world that, on its current trajectory, is likely to be four degrees warmer than present averages.  At the Lima climate negotiations, however, the collective answer to the ‘agricultural question’ was, yet again, to avoid it altogether.

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Reporting to the Director of Science and the Head of Natural Capital & Plant Health, you will be a member of the Plant Resources research team with responsibility for carrying out and publishing research applying modelling approaches to crops, crop wild relatives and other resource-providing plants relevant to both the needs of the Food Security Impacts of Industrial Crop Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa project and the overarching themes of NCPH and Kew’s science strategy.

Contract: 3 years contract (January 2018) 

Salary: £30,786

Location: Kew Gardens, Richmond, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex

Closing Date: 05/06/2015

For more information, please view this vacancy on the Kew Gardens website or downaload the Job Profile

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Professor John Krebs is seeking to hire a post doc or senior DPhil student to help with preparation of two lectures on topics to do with Food. The lectures will be delivered in Japan in early September. The postholder will help with researching data and literature and preparing the powerpoint presentations. It is estimated that there will be 1-2 weeks work, to be carried out in the period June – end August.

If you are intertested, please contact Professor John Krebs driectly on john.krebs@zoo.ox.ac.uk for further details.

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Location: School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Salary: Grade 7: £30,434 - £37,394 p.a. This is a fixed-term post for 5 months.

Application deadline: 12.00 noon on 29 May 2015

Apply online

The Environmental Change Institute’s 'Food Systems Programme' is contributing to the University of Oxford's broad view of food systems by increasing understanding of the two-way interactions between food security and environmental change.

We are seeking to appoint a CCAFS Scenarios and Policy Research Assistant to coordinate the work of the scenarios project in East and West Africa. The post will involve extensive travel in the region. The duties include organising and leading workshops and writing research papers and scenario materials for the processes. You will be working closely with policy makers and international partners to ensure significant outcomes from scenario-guided policy processes.

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A new think piece has been published by the Food Climate Research Network focusing on the future of livestock production - or rather on a range of different livestock futures.

Find out more about the report and download it from the FCRN website.

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Care about what we eat? Interested in good evidence?  Want to influence policy?

Two new opportunities for dynamic, committed individuals in the Food Foundation.

The Food Foundation is a new independent organisation seeking to present solutions to address the growing challenges facing the UK’s food system. With very high rates of obesity, declining dietary quality among low-income consumers, rising food prices and growing pressure on producers and productive land, the challenge to make the food system have a positive human impact is immense.

We are recruiting for two positions, forming part of a small and dynamic team with the chance to shape the future strategy of the Food Foundation. Full details are on our website via the links below:

A Policy & Research Officer

A Communications & Admin Assistant

Both posts are located in central London (Vauxhall) with excellent transport links.

Closing date: 8 June at 9am.

For more information, please visit the Food Foundation website: www.foodfoundation.org.uk

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By Claire Agius, Epigenetics, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

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There are currently several research vacancies at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico:

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By Rachel Loopstra and David Stuckler, Department of Sociology

Foodbank use in the UK has topped one million for the first time, according to new figures from the Trussell Trust. The charity that oversees more than 400 food banks across the country has recorded a 19% rise in the number of food parcels being given out to families in need.

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On this week's Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4, Professor Susan Jebb discuss her research into obesity and how she became a leading researcher in the field.

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