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9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Cork, Ireland
Food Community

How can we develop a healthy, sustainable and resilient food system and change the approach of food industries which seem to pay no attention to health? If you see an urgent need for a joined up food policy for social justice, better health, greener cities, then register for our Summer University in Ireland!


The broadening and deepening of global food production and supply has been a powerful force of economic, social and environmental transformation for the last three decades or more with profound changes, not only to farming systems that become locked into industrial commodity production, but also to adverse environmental effects leading to major ecological ruptures: The productivist agri-industrial model has achieved a remarkable grip over the policy agenda surrounding food security. Yet the consequences include growing concern over emissions of greenhouse gases and impacts upon biological diversity.

The summer school will propose policy changes not only in response to the review of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which is taking place in 2018 but also to the Milan Urban Food Policy pact. The European Commission’s communication on the review of the CAP states that climate change and preserving the environment is the main challenge facing the EU, and the CAP must play an enhanced role in this battle – not only to protect farmers from the impact of climate change but also to ensure that farming does not contribute to making the problem worse. Stringent new goals will be set at European level to ensure farming contributes fully to helping meet the EU’s international commitments on climate change and sustainability.

About the event

The Summer University is organised in collaboration with academics, local policy makers, artisan producers, community food security NGOs and local growers. Its objective is to discuss a new policy which can develop a new healthy, sustainable and resilient food system. The aim is to improve equitable access to quality food, create a fairer and sustainable food system, and reduce the environmental footprint of food.


Friday, June 29

19:30 Welcome reception and opening address

  • Nuala Ahern (Green Foundation Ireland)
  • Colin Sage (School of the Human Environment in UCC and Chair of the Cork Food Policy Council)
  • Duncan Stewart (Chair of Green Foundation Ireland).

Saturday, June 30

09:30 – 09:40 Welcome and introductions

09:40 – 10:20 Dr Colin Sage Why we must restore food to the heart of community

10:20 – 11:00 Cristina Grasseni Food citizenship: Sustainable food procurement in cities

11:20 – 12:00 Oliver Moore re-CAP: Food and Farming Policy in Europe

12:00 – 12:40 Regina Sexton Cork: City of Food

12:45 – 13:30 Debate and Discussion

16:15  St. Stephen’s Sustainable Food Lab: Talk on food growing

17:15  Nano Nagle Place: Heritage experience



Colin SageDr Colin Sage – Senior Lecturer in Geography at UCC with research interests in food systems, environmental policy and civic initiatives for social change. He is the author of Environment and Food (2012) and co-editor of Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability (2017), Food Transgressions: Making sense of contemporary food politics (2014) and Strategies for Sustainable Development. Colin is honorary Visiting Professor on the Food Studies program at the American University, Rome as well as at the University of Gastronomic Sciences near Turin, Italy, and has just completed a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Tasmania.  He is strongly committed to public engagement and is Chair of the Cork Food Policy Council which he co-founded in 2013.

Dr Christina Grasseni – Professor of Anthropology at the University of Leiden, Netherlands. Her research interests lie broadly in economic, political and visual anthropology, focusing especially upon skilled visions and ecologies of belonging. She is the author of Beyond Alternative Food Networks (2013) which analysed Italy’s solidarity economy networks as ethnographic models of grassroots transition to sustainable consumption and food sovereignty. Her most recent book, The Heritage Arena (2017) unravels the political agency of heritage cheese in the reinvention of local economies and ecology in the Alps. Cristina currently leads a major European Research Council project, Food citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities which examines the premises and consequences of collective forms of food production, distribution and consumption in three European cities.

Dr. Oliver Moore – has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food and writes in the field of organics, direct selling and consumer-producer relations. He is a contributor to the Irish Examiner where he writes a weekly column on organic food and farming. A member of the Irish Food Writers Guild he also contributes to Food and Wine magazine, and to Organic Matters magazine. Dr. Moore is Communications Manager with ARC2020, an EU agri-food and rural NGO based in Paris and also maintains a lively and informative blog. He is a board member and active organiser for Cloughjordan Community Farm and Cloughjordan Ecovillage. In 2015 he participated in the La Via Campesina Forum for Agroecology in Nyéléni Mali.

Regina Sexton – a food historian, food writer, broadcaster and cook. Her research interests include food and identity, food and tradition and food in the Irish country house. She has published widely at academic and popular levels. Her publications include A Little History of Irish Food (Gill and Macmillan, 1998) and Ireland’s Traditional Foods (Teagasc, 1997). At University College Cork, she lectures in the area of food history with the School of History, the Food Industry Training Unit and Adult Continuing Education. Her research interests encompass food and culinary history, food preservation, food and identity, ’traditional‘ food cultures, and constructed and ‘invented‘ food traditions.  ‍ Regina is secretary of the Agricultural History Society of Ireland.


The Cork Summer University will cost €40 per person (plus booking fee), which includes wine reception on Friday evening as well as morning coffee and dinner on Saturday. Please note this does not cover the cost of lunch on Saturday.

To attend the Summer University in Cork, you can order your tickets here.

Cork, Ireland

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