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The Food Security, Sustainability and Social Justice Research Group is a multi-disciplinary group based at the University of Chester with considerable experience of research addressing issues in this area. A key strength of this research group is the bringing together of different theoretical and discipline specific perspectives to address these issues. 

Our principles guide the way we approach research and support colleagues (see ‘About Us’), in particular early career researchers, to build research capacity and flourish. We also embody the University’s mission to support graduates in developing citizenship, striving for authentic and meaningful knowledge exchange, alongside local communities and organisations, for impactful research.

Food is more than a physiological requirement; we also eat food for social and cultural reasons, with the involvement and responsibility for this shared across many sectors. Action to address food access, availability and dietary behaviour therefore requires a socio-ecological and whole systems approach. Moreover, the direct relationship between food security and environmental issues emphasises the need for a more sustainable and resilient food system. 

From a social justice perspective, food security, or the right to access affordable and nutritionally adequate food is a basic human right. The UK government is one of the many international signatories of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) United Nations convention on Food Security; this asserts a political duty to ensure that all people will have sufficient access, by socially acceptable means, to an adequate amount of food to meet their nutritional and socio-cultural needs. 

From a sustainability perspective, food poverty becomes one of the indicators of general poverty, and its effects have ramifications in all aspects of life (health, education, job prospects). As such, tackling this issue is part of the UN 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals, to which the UK has also committed. The motto of these goals is to ‘leave no one behind’ in the development process, and this links nicely with one of the University of Chester’s foundational values to ‘foster well-being for all’. 

Our core streams of activity include:

  1. Food Security, Nutrition and Lived Experiences
  2. Food Sustainability
  3. Government and NGO responses to Food Poverty (Food Banks, Holiday Hunger etc)


We welcome all enquiries and are open to further collaborations in this area. To discuss any aspect of our work please contact:

Rosa Fernandez

Group Lead / Deputy Head of Department, Social and Political Science


Phone: 01244 512057