Martin Collison was one of four ENABLING project members who attended the EU Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) information day in Brussels on the 12th April. The event brought together 700 people working on the bio-economy from Europe and launched BBI JU’s 2019 call for projects.
Martin Collison spoke on behalf of Water Resources East (WRE), the CLA and the Institute of Agricultural Management at an event in West Norfolk organised by the Environment Agency. This event was focused on how constructed wetlands can help to manage water resources and included a visit to a project run by the Norfolk Rivers Trust with Anglian Water on the Ingol to use constructed ponds to treat recycled water from a sewage treatment facility. Martin spoke on the potential, particularly given forthcoming changes in agricultural policy, for farmers and landowners to provide public goods and manage their own water needs, through embracing constructed wetlands and other management tools
Martin Collison spoke at the RAU Let’s Grow event organised with gFirst LEP on the value and potential of the agrifood and rural economy in Gloucestershire, based on a report written by Collison and Associates Limited.
Martin Collison was very pleased to be on the judging panel for the Innovation in Food Security Venture Creation Weekend held by the Judge Business School at Cambridge University from 15th-17th March. The weekend brought together a diverse group of 60 academics, industry members and advisors to work together on problems which could address global food security. With 9 teams developing business proposals over the weekend, the standard was very high.
Martin Collison was a session chair and speaker at the Climate Change – all you need to know in a day event, focused on the relationship between Agriculture and Climate Change on the 6th March in London. Speaking on behalf of the EU ENABLING network, Martin spoke about the need for a holistic and resource efficient approach to agriculture and climate change. Martin explained that one critical way in which agriculture could reduce its effective carbon footprint would be by ensuring that 100% of its production was utilised, thus replacing fossil fuel derived materials.
On 5th March Martin attended the New Anglia LEP stakeholder event on its new Local Industrial Strategy at Innovation Martlesham. Martin was filmed for this event talking about the potential in the Norfolk and Suffolk agrifood sector, film is at: https://newanglia.co.uk/local-industrial-strategy/
Agrifood is one of three themes for the New Anglia LIS, alongside clean energy and ICT. The event stressed that whilst there are three themes, the real potential lies in the overlap between the three themes.
Martin and Tom Collison attended the SKIN project meeting on skills in the food chain in Dublin on 13th and 14th February 2019. The meeting included a visit to the impressive Ashtown Campus of TEAGASC to view the wide range of food chain work undertaken by the team on food quality, sustainability and consumer response. More details on the event (and a previous event in Belgium on fresh products) are at: http://www.shortfoodchain.eu/videos-and-stories/fresh-products.kl
Martin Collison spoke at the 2nd regional conference for the New professions and career paths in the food and drink industry – Delivering high level food industry skills in the digital economy project led by Food and Drink Europe and EFFAT. His subject was Short supply chains – what does it mean for food manufacturing, use of technology and skills and focused on how the food chain is changing and the implications this has for the skills needed by workers.
Martin Collison spoke at the RAU event focused on the rural economy of Gloucestershire, at the first Let’s Grow event, which attracted 85 delegates from business and the rural community. The event marked the start of a 6 month project to gather evidence on the scale and potential of the Gloucestershire rural and agrifood economy to help inform future LEP policy. Tamsyn Harrod of Boom Circle also spoke alongside Martin on emerging thinking on the food chain and how Gloucestershire could develop a food strategy.
The Greater Lincolnshire Food Board met at the House of Commons at the invitation of Sir John Hayes MP to discuss with the county’s MPs how food chain growth could be facilitated. Food Board members spoke about the need to address labour supply challenges, deliver frictionless trade post Brexit and to embrace innovation to support industry competitiveness.