safefood have established a number of knowledge networks on the island of Ireland (IOI) to further the integration of food safety and food behaviour capacities by creating linkages between professionals. The networks build on the strengths of the former research networks that ran for a period of five years until March 2009 by expanding and enhancing broad participation across disciplines and sectors of the food chain on an all-island basis.
Aims of safefood networks
Agri-food is increasingly operating in a global market for production, processing and distribution. In addition, the importance of sustainability in relation to environmental quality in both rural and urban area, is of increasing concern. Responsive, high quality education is essential to ensure the agri-food & land industries remain innovative, sustainable and globally competitive. To secure this success, they need to draw on excellence in areas as diverse as nutrition, diet and health, chemical engineering, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, environmental planning and management and economics.
The Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use (IAFLU) provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, in an interactive and creative learning environment. IAFLU is at the forefront of ensuring the agri-food and land use sectors maintain their competitive edge needed to meet the challenges posed by European enlargement and the global marketplace.
IAFLU also conducts cutting edge, environmental, food safety and nutritional research of local, national and international importance. We provide a strong and motivating research environment and the concentration of academic staff in key thematic areas maintains international standing in these specialisms.
The facilitator for this network is Prof. Chris Elliott, Director of the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use (Queen’s University Belfast). With over 30 years experience in this area, Prof. Elliott directs a highly skilled research team at the Institute (formed 2005), fast becoming recognised globally for high quality research in the food safety field.
He also directs the recently established ASSET Research Centre (formed 2009). A world class centre of excellence, bringing together a team of multi-disciplined food safety professionals from across the Island of Ireland, and drawing on their combined wealth of knowledge to safeguard our food supply.
Long term collaborations and knowledge transfer programmes have been forged with research institutions and industrialists from the agri-food sector across Europe and beyond.
Analysis of results from the various research initiatives is conducted on an ongoing basis in line with current EC Food Safety Directives. Where necessary, policy makers and regulators are advised of developments and policy modification is recommended.