Winchester professors to speak at major conference aimed at fixing 'broken global food system'

26 Apr 2023
corn grows in drought conditions

The University of Winchester is among the organisations supporting a conference at which experts from across the globe will address the problem of how we feed the world without destroying it.

Winchester is the only university among the partners at next month’s Extinction or Regeneration Conference to be held in London.

One in ten people in the world faces hunger but the production of food is the primary cause of biodiversity loss and creates more greenhouse gas emissions than any other human activity, claim the event’s organisers Compassion in World Farming.

Included in the line-up of speakers at the conference is Philip Lymbery, Global Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming, who is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester.

Philip, a UN Food Systems Champion, is an expert on the global effects of industrial farming on animal welfare, wildlife, soil and other natural resources.

He said: “In the face of the growing climate, wildlife and health emergencies, we’re running out of time to fix our broken global food system. But there is hope. The Extinction or Regeneration conference will gather some of the world’s most respected experts and thinkers to share solutions and help develop a policy roadmap that steers us away from extinction and towards regeneration, for the benefit of animals, people and our planet.”

“Whether eminent scientist, ‘rock star of social justice’ or UN representatives, all our world-class speakers share a common drive – to showcase workable solutions and map a clear path towards a better future for us all.”

Among the themes addressed at the conference will be:

Also addressing the conference is Dr Shireen Kassam a Visiting Professor at University of Winchester, where she has developed the UK's first university-based course on plant-based nutrition.

Shireen is passionate about promoting plant-based nutrition for the preventing reversing chronic disease and for maintaining health after treatment for cancer.

Her first book, Eating Plant-Based, Scientific Answers to Your Nutrition Questions, co-authored with her sister Zahra, was published last year along with a co-edited textbook aimed at healthcare professionals called Plant-Based Nutrition in Clinical Practice.

Shireen said: “It’s completely possible for people of all ages to be healthy on a plant-based diet.”

She added that while it might be too much to expect everyone to become vegetarian or vegan, she urged everyone to cut their meat and dairy consumption to less than 15 per cent of their diet and to eat more fruit and vegetables.

“Only 28 per cent of adults eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day and only 18 per cent of children under 16,” said Shireen.

 “Not only would we be healthier if we ate a more plant-based diet, we would spend about a third less on food shopping. It’s a win-win on every front.”

The list of speakers also includes Olivier de Schutter, co-chair of IPES-Foods and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, actress and animal rights campaigner Joanna Lumley, and Henry Dimbleby, cookery writer and co-founder of Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

The conference has been scheduled to take place around a series of important international meetings taking place in 2023 including the UN Food Systems Summit (September), and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit (September) and COP28 (November). This year will also see the publication of a European Union sustainable food policy.

Extinction or Regeneration is a hybrid event which takes place at the capital’s QEII Conference Centre on 11 and 12 May. To register to see talks on line or for any other information about the event visit

 Image: USDA photo by Bob Nichols, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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