UK – Irish based multinational food company Kepak has partnered with Wales, UK based Bangor University to launch a new research degree in sustainable food production.
The degree, ‘Evaluating the potential for greenhouse gas reduction from a commercial beef supply chain’, will be offered at the masters level, according to Kepak.
In developing theThe MRes scholarship, Kepak and Bangor are looking to enable students to make tangible contributions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with beef production in Wales.
As concerns about the impact of food production systems on the environment continue to grow, focus has been particularly put on animal rearing whose animal footprints is several times higher than crop production.
According to the University of California, Davis, Cattle are the No. 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide.
Each year, a single cow will belch about 220 pounds of methane. Methane from cattle is shorter lived than carbon dioxide but 28 times more potent in warming the atmosphere, said Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist at UC Davis Department of Animal Science.
Naturally, the red meat sector is under considerable pressure to reduce its environmental impacts and has made ambitious commitments to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases.
“By utilising Kepak data and the outputs of ongoing projects at the School of Natural Sciences, this studentship will help identify a number of key measures including efficiency, mitigation, and changes to production systems,” Bangor University project supervisor Prysor Williams said.
The introduction of this new sustainable food production degree followed a number sustainability programmes launched by Kepak.
Just recently, the company revealed plans to plant 1,000 indigenous trees to enhance biodiversity and carbon sequestration and the installation of another wind turbine at its Merthyr site later this year.
Kepak agriculture governance & compliance manager Julie Finch added: “We have already made significant changes to become a more sustainable business and welcome the insight that the MRes Scholarship will offer, enabling us to do even more to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate.”
Meanwhile, last month Wrexham-based Jones Village Bakery announced plans to recruit 30 new apprentices over the next two years as part of a £16 million expansion of its baking operation.
Practical training sessions are run by bakery specialist Paul Andrew, a qualified assessor with Coleg Cambria with whom Village Bakery have partnered to deliver the apprenticeships.
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