Dr James Kirwan

After sixteen years with the CCRI, we say a fond farewell to our Reader in Food Studies and Society, Dr James Kirwan, who is retiring and setting off for new pastures in Germany.

James joined the CCRI in 1999 as an ESRC-funded PhD student, successfully defending his thesis ‘The reconfiguration of producer-consumer relations within alternative strategies in the UK Agro-food system: the case of farmers’ markets’, in 2003. In 2002 he joined the staff of the CCRI as a Research Fellow.

James’ main research interests in the CCRI have been concerned with the socio-economic impacts of the agro-food system, particularly the relationship between the production and consumption of food and any resultant impacts on sustainable rural development. He has also researched widely the role of local food networks within the context of global food security, including the role of ethics and responsibility. He has recently been working on the following two EU funded projects:

Sufisa (Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries)

ROBUST Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies, which is designed to advance our understanding of the interactions and dependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas.

James was also recently involved in SOFIA, a training-through-research project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, which was awarded to Marco Della Gala from the University of Calabria. Marco worked under the supervision of James to produce a Smartphone app to help people source local food. The app, called ‘MiLarder’ can be downloaded via the following links:

Apple iTunes

Google Play

In recent years, James led a CCRI research team to complete the EU funded project GLAMUR (Global and Local food chain Assessment: a MUltidimensional performance-based approach) He also led the evaluation of the £59.8 million Big Lottery funded Local Food programme. 

From 1st October 2018, James will be employed on a short-term contract at the Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde – HNEE – (University for Sustainable Development, Eberswalde), near Berlin. Here he will be involved in delivering the Sufisa work package that HNEE is responsible for.