International food supply chains

We’re engaging with companies and individuals involved in food production, retail and finance. Our researchers are investigating how to improve the efficiency of the food supply chain. They are taking into account food safety and consumer preference, and finding fresh approaches to regulatory conflicts.

The supply chains through which food reaches consumers can be incredibly complex. Food producers, processers, transporters and retailers are among the many organisations involved in making sure food reaches our plates. Some areas of the supply chain can become inefficient and producers and suppliers can fall foul of national, European or international regulations, affecting access to food.

Our projects

Researchers in our School of Law are working on the implications of Brexit on food supplies and the regulation of agriculture with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Brexit Working Group.

Partners in the N8 group of universities are holding a workshop on agri-food supply chains, regulation and policy. The workshop aims to identify evidence-based policy linking agriculture, law, economics and environmental policy.

Our Centre for Law and Social Justice is working with the Centre for Business Law and Practice and our N8 partners to investigate food justice. This includes access to food, the effects of poverty and climate change.

Our collaborations

Leeds has strong partnerships with companies such as Marks & Spencer and Morrisons. We worked with Morrisons on a report investigating the reliance of the UK on food produced elsewhere in the world. The report underpinned a campaign by Morrisons to recruit more local suppliers.

International links include the Society of International Economic Law, which facilitates international collaboration and networking, and the European Council for Rural Law.

Our leading researchers

Professor Fiona Smith is an expert in international economic law, with a particular focus on regulation in international trade and investment.

Professor Michael Cardwell is Professor of Agricultural Law. He has particular interests in the Common Agricultural Policy, world trade, climate change and food security.

Dr Jen Hendry is Associate Professor in Law and Social Justice and is Director of the Centre for Law and Social Justice. Her research interests are in the fields of social and legal theory, socio-legal studies, and comparative legal studies.

Professor Michael Thomson is Professor of Law. His research spans health law, children’s rights, and legal theory, with current interests in the pursuit of social justice in health law.

Professor Louise Dye is Professor of Nutrition and Behaviour. She chairs the Nutrition and Behaviour Change theme in the N8 Agrifood programme.

Dr Anne Tallontire is Senior Lecturer in Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility in the School of Earth and Environment.

Dr Carrie Bradshaw is a lecturer in the School of Law. Her research interests include food waste, and the role of supermarkets as regulatory institutions.

For enquiries about international food supply networks, email or phone +44 (0)113 343 7996.