This multi-institutional project will explore whether a regional-based UK food system can provide healthy and sustainable diets, and if resilience in the system can be achieved through strengthening social capital among food system stakeholders.

A collaboration between Cardiff UniversityRothamsted ResearchNewcastle UniversityNorthumbria University and Scotland Rural College, the project seeks to increase the proportion of a healthy diet comprised of food produced regionally.

Focussed on two different case study regions, East Anglia (dominated by arable and horticulture) and South Wales (dominated by livestock systems), TGRAINS will explore how regional UK landscapes can deliver healthy food sustainably and whether new and equitable relationships between those involved in the food chain can drive more sustainable production and consumption practices.

As part of the research, the team will also assess the impact that directly connecting consumers to producers can have on household food culture to achieve healthy diets and more sustainable food production, exploring the current and future role that social media (for example Twitter) plays in building and strengthening producer-producer and producer-consumer relationships and how this could be exploited further.

Funded through the Global Food Security’s ‘Resilience of the UK Food System Programme’ with support from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Scottish government.