Policy Leader - Policy Leeds
I am a Lecturer in the School of Law with a background in environmental law, especially waste and climate change. I am particularly interested in the role of corporations (especially supermarkets) in society, and my work explores this through the lens of the relationships between environmental law, company law, and tortious liability.
My current research examines the ways in which food waste is framed as a legal and policy problem. My published work includes the UKs first legal scholarship on food waste, and is cited internationally as go-to legal pieces on the topic. As part of a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Oslos TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, funded by the Research Council of Norway, I will contribute to a major interdisciplinary food waste project BREAD (Building Responsibility and Developing Innovative Strategies for Tackling Food Waste).
My scholarship and expertise underpin my work beyond academia, particularly with Parliament and Government.
Since 2018, I have been an ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow, working with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to support scrutiny of Government action on food waste. My work includes a forthcoming POSTBrief (dynamic and strategic evidence syntheses produced in response to major developments or current affairs). This assesses the evidence base for food waste interventions across the supply chain, and considers the implications of this for law and policy in England, particularly against the backdrop of legislative proposals under the Resources and Waste Strategy for England to tackle food waste, the National Food Strategy, and the UKs departure from the EU. My published work also supports Parliamentary scrutiny in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as through the Environment, Food and Rural Affair Committees Enquiry into COVID-19 and food supply.
I have presented my research (with School of Law colleagues) to Defra, and many of my recommendations are reflected in food waste policy shifts in England. For example, my call for food waste to be framed as a specific rather than generic waste problem is seen in the Resources and Waste Strategy for England, which includes a dedicated food waste chapter and proposes food waste-specific legislation. My recommendations to integrate food waste within agricultural law are also coming to fruition, particularly through the inclusion of food waste-related powers in the new powers of fair dealing under the Agriculture Act 2020.
I was also recently invited to participate in an initiative, organised by the Government Office for Science, to feed diverse and robust evidence into the governments COVID-19 recovery strategy. Throughout the summer of 2020, nine working groups comprising academics, policy officials and research funders met remotely to highlight evidence gaps and shape future research agendas. As part of the land use working group, my expertise has particularly assisted in the identification of evidence to assist supporting the agricultural sector following COVID-19.