Professor Matt Lobley from LEEP will chair the events.

LEEP academic involved in 'Food and the Circular Economy South West' workshops

Researchers from the Business School, LEEP and Engineering have recently launched an innovative 2-year project, “Food and the Circular Economy in the South West”, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

They will be exploring the opportunities and challenges for SME food and drink processors, specifically bakery and dairy processors, in the South West in transitioning towards the circular economy (CE) – as well as evaluating the CE concept itself. This interdisciplinary research focuses on how processors can retain and circulate maximum value from resources (of all kinds) during use, eliminate avoidable waste and reuse or recycle unavoidable waste. There are more details about the project on the 'Food and the Circular Economy - South West' website.

To raise awareness of our work and to help boost its impact across the region and beyond, we will be holding two free events with our industrial partners. While our focus is on SMEs we would be delighted to see businesses of all sizes within the bakery and dairy sectors coming along.

The Exeter event will be held on Friday 10 February 2017 at the Innovation Centre, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RN. Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton and Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, will give the keynote address.

The Penryn event will be held on Friday 3 March 2017 at Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter Penryn campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE. George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment, will give the keynote address.

Each event (for up to 50 attendees) will begin with a free buffet lunch from 12.45pm, followed by the keynote speech at 2pm. Both events will be chaired by Professor Matt Lobley from LEEP. The project leader, Professor Steffen Boehm, will update participants on progress so far, giving a short introduction to the CE and why it is relevant to the food and drink sector now. Participants will be invited to undertake a practical activity to offer a sense of the project. We would also look to explore new collaborations within the sector (i.e. beyond the immediate EPSRC project). We expect the events to finish at 4pm.

We are keen to reach out to as many local businesses as possible so would be grateful if you could circulate this invitation to any business contacts you have, specifically dairies and bakeries. Should any of your business contacts be interested in coming along, please ask them to contact the event organiser, Dan Eatherley (d.eatherley@exeter.ac.uk), who will send them an Eventbrite invitation.

Date: 19 January 2017

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