Knowledge for a sustainable world

The heat was on for this year’s cohort of students as they graduated on one of the hottest days of the year. The grandeur of Rochester Cathedral provided cool and welcome relief as the thermometer touched 31 degrees outside. NRI staff and students defied the sweltering heat as they queued patiently for tickets and donned their gowns.

Coming soon to a pub near you, this year’s ‘Pint of Science’ festival will allow you to sip and think. This popular worldwide science event held every year in May, brings brilliant researchers to your local pub to present their scientific discoveries while you sit back, glass in hand, and take it all in. 

Across the UK there are 600 events happening across 40 cities, and NRI’s Dr Claudia Carvalho and Dr Lori Fisher are kicking it off in Medway on Monday 20th May with their talk on “Sustainable Spuds and Other Fresh Produce – It’s all in the Storage & Packaging”.

On Tuesday 28th May, NRI convened a one-day seminar at the Produce Quality Centre (PQC) in East Malling, Kent. Experts, academics and representatives from across the soft fruit industry supply chain were invited to discuss current challenges facing the industry and possible solutions for the future.

Organised by NRI’s Dr Lori Fisher and Dr Deborah Rees, the day featured a number of fascinating keynote speakers including Nikki Jennings from the James Hutton Institute who spoke about breeding berries for practical production, Nancy Clark from Amcor who explored the impact of packaging, and Thomas Hoeterickx from Octinion whose ‘Revolution in the Greenhouse’ presentation showed the future of automation for berry harvesting.

Friday 7th June marked the United Nations’ inaugural World Food Safety Day. Its aim was to make us all realise that food safety is everyone’s problem. Here at NRI we agree 100%.

Everyone has the right to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, but the UN calculates that every year almost one in ten people in the world falls ill after eating contaminated food, stating, “Food-borne illnesses are estimated to be responsible for 420,000 deaths annually– 125,000 of them in children under five - every year, with people in Africa and Southeast Asia suffering the most.”

Have you ever wondered how you might spend £15m on regenerating your local area? On Wednesday 5th June, the University of Greenwich hosted an exciting event at the Medway campus as part of the ‘Growing Kent & Medway’ research, innovation and enterprise cluster. The cluster is bidding to win a grant to make this region one of the most dynamic, competitive and successful locations in the world for technology-driven horticultural production, food processing, and its supply chains.

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