Food Justice Network

About Bristol Researchers’ Food Justice Network

The Bristol Researchers’ Food Justice Network is a group of researchers from a range of disciplines interested in, and working on, issues to do with social and environmental justice and sustainability within food systems. It began as an informal network of colleagues at the University of Bristol, alongside researchers who live in Bristol. The group has now evolved and is developing to support more researchers and build up regular exchanges in knowledge and group learning in this area. It is a space for critical debate on the food system and the development of new ideas and initiatives.


In 2020-2021, we held 14 research workshops on Zoom, fortnightly during teaching periods between October 2020 and June 2021. The seminars were open to members and not recorded. Below is more detail on the seminars held.

FJN Seminar Series Feb-June 2021 Final

FJN Seminar Series 2020-2021

Leadership and contact points

During 2020-2021 the network was co-led by Dr Lydia Medland and Dr Lauren Blake and was formalised with the fortnightly meeting structure. Lydia Medland and Lauren Blake are both researchers passionate about food and the consideration of all food related issues from a food systems perspective.

During the academic year 2020-2021 the co-leads sought and achieved modest funding from the Bristol Staff Development Fund in order to hold a workshop and establish a democratic structure and platform for the network. The funding paid for a professional coach to facilitate this process. Following the workshop, the network members established a Core Committee of regular network contributors. The purpose of the committee is to guide the network forward, navigate decisions and opportunities and ensure that it remains a space of support for food researchers, helping them work in alignment with their core values and the exploration and commitment of the network to food justice and independent research into food systems.

The Core Committee from September 2021 onwards will be:

Jonny Beacham – Research Fellow, Management, Social Sciences & Law.

Lauren Blake – Lecturer, Geography, Science.

Lucy McCarthy – Senior Lecturer, Management, Social Sciences & Law.  

Lydia Medland – Senior Research Associate, Sociology, Politics and International Studies, Social Sciences & Law.

Heike Rolker – PhD Researcher, Veterinary School, Health Sciences.

Rob Skinner – Lecturer, History, Arts.

Huw Thomas – Lecturer, Management, Social Sciences & Law.

Our network now has over 70 members from across UoB schools and faculties, and a small number of select Bristol-based researchers based in other organisations and institutions. If you are interested in joining, please see the network website membership page, here.