Sir, If there is a silver lining to the black cloud that is Covid-19, it will be that society attributes greater value to evidence-based debate. Research and industry collaboration are at the heart of well-directed innovation and this will be my primary focus in my new role as chair of the Organic Research Centre.
Over the past few weeks, the public have not only become much more scientifically engaged, there has also been a dramatic change in attitudes towards food. This creates an opportunity for the industry to inform consumers of the importance of food production.
Organic agriculture has a vital role to play in building healthy ecosystems, which is great for the environment and vital for creating resilient UK food supply chains. Research and lively debate are essential.
Additionally, we must support consumers in their purchasing decisions - with the goal of bringing about shorter and more local supply chains and becoming more self-sufficient, through sustainable farming systems. In my mind, this starts with formulating solutions that are based on sound science.
Tim Bennett, chair, Organic Research Centre