Karina’s research topic ‘Future Proofing The Irish Agri-Food Sector Through Robust Research’ aims to evaluate if the future needs of the Irish agri-food industry are being addressed through current research. She passionately believes that research, and investment in research, is critically important for the continued growth of the agri-food sector in Ireland. Research is important, not only a driver of innovation, but to ensure that we can be proactive, rather than reactive, with evidence-based responses for consumers of Irish produce on important issues as required. Topical issues at present include the impact of agriculture on the environment, animal welfare, human health concerns etc. However, there may be other issues that are not receiving sufficient attention currently and may become key issues for consumers in the coming years.
It is of interest to know where research funds are being focussed in other significant agri-food countries and major food companies, to learn more about contributions of private industry internationally to research and development and how private industry interacts with public funding bodies in other countries to ensure the best independent research is available to farmers and the wider industry. During her Nuffield, Karina plans to travel to China, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand to address her study topic.