UK: A new £12m research centre has been established to support efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the food chain.

The National Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains will call upon experienced engineers, scientists and industry experts to develop energy-efficient food manufacturing, distribution and retail systems to support companies achieve their short, mid and long term CO2 emissions reduction targets.

The Centre, led by Professor Savvas Tassou, head of the School of Engineering and Design and a well-known expert in refrigeration and energy research, is a partnership with teams from the University of Manchester, led by Professor Adisa Azapagic, and the University of Birmingham, led by Professor Fryer.

The £12m total cost includes £5.7m in funding from Research Councils UK and the Manufacturing the Future Programme with the remainder coming from its 33 UK industry supporters and the three universities.

“There is a global imperative to dramatically reduce carbon emissions across all heavy-use industries. It’s critical to start addressing energy efficiency in food chain systems now,” said professor Tassou.

Professor Azapagic added: “The Centre will contribute significantly to reducing energy use and environmental impacts from food production and consumption, thus helping to save resources and meet UK climate change targets.”