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Bittersweet Brexit: Where are we heading with our food & farming?

  • B200, University Building City, University of London, Northampton Square London, EC1V 0HB (map)

Food Thinkers seminar with Charlie Clutterbuck

Chaired by Professor Tim Lang, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London

The Centre for Food Policy’s Food Thinkers series aims to advance the thinking and practice of integrated approaches to food policy. 

With Brexit events moving so quickly, this talk will be a moving feast. The context is that UK food and farming could change more now and more quickly than in the last 70 years. Brexit is a moment of food system restructuring.

Charlie’s talk will focus on the role of human labour in farm and food provision, asking: (1) Why did it barely feature in UK politics of food when it is so central to how the food system actually works? (2) What does this say about UK food policy debate? (3) Was the silence about food labour part of what delivered the 2016 Brexit referendum vote? (4) What are the food labour issues which now need to be addressed, whatever happens in Brexit politics? (5) How can we make labour more central to our understanding of the transition to a sustainable food system?

Q&A and discussion will then be opened to the audience. 

Charlie Clutterbuck studied from 1965-68 at Newcastle University; took an MSc in 1969 at Wye College, and conducted a PhD on the effects of herbicides on small soil animals there between 1970-74. He worked for many years on the health and safety politics, an interest that grew out of the new found cancer hazards making PVC plastic. His PhD expertise was suddenly relevant to human not just ecological safety. He maintained dual interests in human and animal ecology, setting up the BSSRS Agricapital Group which became one of the founding traditions of radical science in food systems. For 10 years he was an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Food Policy. His most recent post was as a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University setting up a new ‘Food Entrepreneur’ degree. His most recent book: Bittersweet Brexit: Future of Food, Farming Land and Labour was published in 2017 (Pluto Press). He was a Board member of the Food Ethics Council for 5 years and is now a Board member of Incredible Edibles Farm, Todmorden, and ‘The Larder’, Preston. He lives in NE Lancashire.

Later Event: January 24
Healthy Landscapes