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UEA academics to discuss the latest farming science, technology, policy and data

A single honey bee on an oilseed rape flower.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A single honey bee on an oilseed rape flower. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

The interactions between science, technology, policy, practice and the markets – and how they affect East Anglian agriculture – will be discussed by five leading academics at the University of East Anglia.

A free event, entitled Brexit, Bees and the Brown Stuff, will explore research into issues ranging from preserving pollinators and improving on-farm water quality to the impact of Brexit on food law and insight into shopper behaviour.

The five speakers are:

• Dr Lynn Dicks of the UEA’s School of Biological Sciences will explore how declining populations of pollinators can be preserved and optimised for agriculture. By “applying scientific evidence to policy and practice”, Dr Dicks is helping to assess the effectiveness of schemes to protect pollinators, and contributing to the government’s Countryside Stewardship programme.

• Dr David Rose of the UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences will discuss innovation in agri-tech. As an environmental geographer specialising in the interactions between science, technology, policy and practice, Dr Rose will provide insight into how new agricultural technologies can impact on society, and how to engage farmers further in agri-tech design.

• Prof Owen Warnock of the UEA’s School of Law will give a presentation entitled Brexit and Food Law: Freedom or Cast Adrift? With most UK law on the production, distribution and sale of food and drink derived from the EU, he will consider what EU structures might be changed after Brexit in areas such as health claims, statements about place of production, organic labelling and employment law.

• Prof Andrew Fearne of the Norwich Business School will present some of the key lessons learned from his “who buys my food” project, a collaboration between the Norwich Business School, Tesco and customer science firm Dunnhumby, which is now in its 14th year. He will explain how shopper insight is used to support business planning and marketing decision-making across the food chain.

• Prof Kevin Hiscock of the UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences will talk about “on-farm mitigation practices to improve water quality”, drawing on his research into the impacts of land management practices and climate change on groundwater resources.

The event, hosted jointly by the UEA and accountancy firm Lovewell Blake, takes place at the UEA’s Enterprise Centre from 5.30pm to 8pm on November 28. Attendance is free, but places must be reserved via the Lovewell Blake website.

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