Dr John Lever

Director, Centre for Sustainability, Responsibility, Governance and Ethics

Reader at Department of Management, Huddersfield Business School

John Lever has been conducting research on local and regional food system transformations since arriving at University of Huddersfield in 2014. Initially he was commissioned by Kirklees Public Health Directorate to examine how a local food partnership could boost the health of local people, the economy and the environment. This work has continued through projects focussed on food waste and circular food economies, and more recently, on the response of local and regional food businesses to the Covid-19 health pandemic, when the benefits of a regional place-based food system suddenly became clear. 

Opportunities to contribute to the development of a regional circular economy by making better use of food waste and the by-products of production were also identified at this time, as was the need to think about the land use issues impacting farmers because of the new environmental land management schemes (ELMs) that emerged after the UK left the European Union. Lever and Byongjun (Phil) Hwang in the Department of Biological and Geographical Sciences are currently advising on the Holme Valley Climate Action Partnership on a land use project. 

Moving forward, Lever and colleagues are working on ways to ensure that an environmentally safe and socially just food system emerges to ensure food security for future generations. In pursuit of this aim, Lever recently took up an invitation to chair a new Kirklees Food Partnership. He is also co-chair of the Health and Well Being Working Group at Sustainable Huddersfield and works closely with Kirklees Climate Commission and Anne Velenturf and colleagues at Yorkshire Circular Lab 

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