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Dr Julie Smith

Dr Julie Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow



My research is on the sustainable production and consumption of food. Recent work within EU-funded projects has focused on innovative forms of policy and governance to build more sustainable food systems. I worked as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Food Policy, City University London from 2011-2016 and was a Visiting Scholar at the Ruralia Institute, University of Helsinki in 2012. I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the CCRI (Countryside and Community Research Institute) University of Gloucestershire, where I previously completed my PhD (Geography) on traditional food systems.

My interest is in how policy addresses the challenges posed by food systems for health, the environment, social justice and culture. My current research on the SIM4NEXUS project investigates the interactions and impacts of nexus policies at regional, national, European and global scales. I am a member of the Energy Policy Group.


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Research interests

I am interested in how food systems operate at multiple scales and layers and require a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach that pushes the boundaries beyond economic considerations to include political, social and ecological dimensions. This includes the emerging discourse that questions “local” and “global” distinctions in food systems.

My recent research work includes developing models to help support more sustainable food chains, engaging in dialogue and co-learning with stakeholders to produce shared knowledge outcomes, conducting case studies to contribute to an evidence base on the performance of global-local food chains, and developing policy recommendations and a road map to improve sustainability in the food chain. Recent papers propose policy frameworks for more sustainable local-global food chains; discuss the competing policy demands for more sustainable public sector food procurement; and develop a social impact assessment methodology for SMEs in selected food and drink products.

Research projects

2017 SIM4NEXUS – the project aims to address knowledge and technology gaps and to facilitate the design of policies within the water, land, food, energy and climate nexus.  (

2013-16 GLAMUR – Global and local food chain assessment: a multidimensional performance-based approach  (

2012-14 SENSE - HarmoniSed Environmental Sustainability in the European food and drink chain (

2011-14 Foodlinks - using knowledge brokerage to link scientists, policymakers and civil society organizations and promote sustainable food consumption and production (

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External Engagement and Impact

Conferences and invited presentations

2015    ‘Global, regional and local food supply chains: a comparative assessment of the sustainability performance of wheat-to-bread chains in Italy and the UK’ Agriculture in Urbanizing Society Conference, Rome. 14-17 September.

2013    ‘Traditional markets: fresh perspectives on urban food provisioning.’ Food, the City and Innovation Conference, University of Texas at Austin USA. 1 February

2013    ‘What makes this food co-op a co-operative? –‘We just are’: Findings from a three-year evaluation of food co-ops in England’ Mainstreaming Co-operation Conference, Manchester. 3 July.

2012    ‘The everyday life of food: the traditional food market and the English city’ Food and the City Conference, Boston University, USA. 24 February.

2010    ‘Traditional food markets: re-assessing their role in food provisioning’ AESOP 2nd European Sustainable Food Planning Conference, University of Brighton. 29 October.

2010    ‘Understanding markets’ National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) national conference, Buxton. 20 October.

2009    ‘Traditional food markets: the hidden sector?’ Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference, Manchester, August 2009.

2008    ‘The changing place of traditional food retailing: English retail markets’ Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference, London, August 2008.

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