Save the date: Eastern Arc Conference 2023

30 May 2023

A date and focus for our Conference 2023 has been agreed: 20 September 2023. It will focus on food, nurition and dietary research. It’s free and open to all, and will be held in Canterbury as the University of Kent is hosting EARC this year. Put a note in your diary! A call to lead sessions will be launched shortly.

The Eastern Arc region has been shaped and defined by food. From the breadbasket of England on one side of the Thames to the garden on the other, the East and South East accounts for a third of England’s total income from farming (TIFF), some £1.5bn in 2021, and the EARC area is home to more than 10,000 food and produce enterprises. 

However, it is also an essential hub for food distribution. Around two thirds of the UK’s food imports come through Dover, the Channel Tunnel and Felixstowe. 62% of fruit and vegetable imports from the EU come through Kent, as well as 43% of meats and 41% of dairy imports, whilst Felixstowe handles more than 40% of containerised food entering the UK.

In addition, there is a strong research infrastructure across the region, both within the three Eastern Arc universities and beyond. This includes the institutes on the Norwich Research Park (the John Innes Centre, Earlham Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory and Quadram Institute), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft, and NIAB East Malling.

Within the universities, there are a number of centres, projects and individuals with world-class expertise in food production, distribution and policy, but also the wider issues of nutrition, diet and the societal and economic impacts these have. These include:




All three

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