Food systems

Our systems approach sees food as much more than fuel. Food, through production, processing, transport and consumption, impacts on multiple other areas of human life including economic development, human nutrition and wellbeing, politics, justice and culture. Good decisions come from seeing the whole picture. 

By taking a joined-up view 3Keel helps policymakers and strategists understand the multiple dimensions of food systems choices. Our expertise has guided climate change adaptation plans for smallholders in Laos and informed new global approaches to integrated city region governance and planning.

Food Futures #DoBusinessUnusual


3Keel was asked to identify the emerging trends and areas of innovation in the UK food system. The project comprised horizon scanning, stakeholder events, interviews and the design of a public-facing report.

Understanding City Region Food Systems

Prince of Wales' International Sustainability Unit

The International Sustainability Unit commissioned 3Keel to create a synthesis paper on City Region Food Systems, presented by 3Keel at a high-level meeting convened by HRH the Prince of Wales. 

Sustainable Food Systems Framework

Institute of Food Science and Technology

3Keel were commissioned by the Institute of Food Science & Technology to develop a 'food sustainability framework' and identify opportunities for the Institute to expand its work on key sustainability topics.

Environmental Impacts of Livestock Feed


3Keel was commissioned by WWF-UK to provide an overview of the environmental impact of the global production of livestock feed.

Do certification schemes improve worker wellbeing?

19th May, 2017

3Keel senior consultant Catherine McCosker worked with a team at SOAS (University of London) under Dr Carlos Oya to conduct a systematic review of agricultural certification schemes (CS).

Research priorities for UN Global Goals


3Keel partnered with Beechlight to facilitate a 4-day ‘Bellagio’ convening on Lake Como, on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and The Rockefeller Foundation. The purpose was to develop an agreed approach for the Towards a Sustainable Earth (TaSE) initiative, a new venture to identify global research and innovation priorities that will enable the satisfaction of the UN Global Goals. 

The impact of plant pathogens on food security

24th January, 2017

Pathogens are estimated to cause around 12.5% of global crop losses, threatening many commercially and socially valuable crops, such as coffee, cassava, oranges, olives, wheat and rice. 3Keel researcher Sam Royston explores how vulnerable our food systems are to pathogens and how we can increase system resilience. 

Bargaining Chips

26th January, 2017

Getting the right deals for food in post-Brexit trade negotiations is prominent in the mind of many UK food businesses. It’s of huge strategic importance but when you look at the numbers, food may not be a top priority for most of our trading partners.  We certainly can’t assume that food will drive trade deals.  And at worst, it could become a disposable bargaining chip.

Securing the future of the UK's favourite fruit

20th January, 2017

3Keel has kicked off a multi-disciplinary Global Food Security research project with the universities of Exeter and Oxford to investigate the future of the UK's favourite fruit: the banana.

Binning assumptions on packaging

Pret A Manger

3Keel supported Pret A Manger develop an evidence-based global sustainable packaging specification underpinned by a full portfolio life cycle assessment across a range of material and impact metrics.

Oxfam’s approach to resilience in Asia


Together with Oxfam staff from 11 countries and 5 Oxfam affiliates, 3Keel developed an overarching approach to resilience that focuses on supporting poor women and men achieve six key outcomes for communities.

NERC water risk workshop


NERC commissioned 3Keel to plan and run a one-day workshop, bringing together researchers and the private sector to improve understanding of global freshwater systems, and support the mitigation of water risks to global supply chains and local communities.