6 March 2019

Climate change and agriculture: all you need to know in a day

Organised by:

SCI's Agrisciences group and SCI's Food Group

London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This conference will be an overview of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the range of options available to cope with the changes. It will also address the impacts agriculture has on the climate and the options available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If you want to get to grips with the state of the art in agriculture, food supply and climate change, then this conference will tell you all you need to know. In a day.

Climate change and agriculture and the food supply chain are tightly interwoven. On the one hand, agriculture is a significant contributor to emissions of greenhouse gases (somewhere in the range of 10-20%). On the other hand, agriculture will be seriously affected by a changing climate. While there could be disruptions of many kinds, worryingly, the main impact is expected to be a larger number of extreme events such as droughts and storms making it harder for farmers to produce food consistently. In rich countries this may affect consumers’ prices, but in poorer countries its a matter of life and death. Meanwhile, a fast-growing, more affluent and increasingly urbanised population is switching to diets rich in animal products; and the tendency to build on the most productive farmland as cities expand continues. Food production and the food supply chain must keep pace with these multiple challenges.

However, there are things that we can do to reduce emissions, adapting to the changing climate whilst increasing production. Some of these solutions are technical (e.g. plant breeding, precision agriculture or livestock diets that generate less methane); others are managerial (e.g. irrigation management) and some are sociological (e.g. changing consumer behaviour). For uptake of the solutions to be successful, government policy must encourage sustainable approaches at the individual, national and global levels.


This will be an ideal opportunity to meet others and generate connections and partnerships and will be of interest to the following groups of people:

  • Members of all parts of the food supply system, for example, those involved in agriculture, crop protection, machinery, processing and retail.
  • Specialists in any one area of the AgriFood industry or of climate research who want to build a more general knowledge across the whole spectrum.
  • Those starting out in research careers or who conduct research at the fringes of climate science.
  • Those who are concerned with the rhetoric of constant negativity and want a positive story to tell.

Those with a particular interest in plants or animals will be able to place their own research into the context of the other.

09.30 Registration and refreshments
Session 1:Agriculture and Climate Change
10.00 Agriculture’s response to climate change: feeding future generations
Prof Ian Crute CBE, former chief scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
  How does climate change affect ecosystem services?
Dr Marc Metzger, University of Edinburgh
  How will climate change affect horticulture?
Dr Alison Foster, Freelance Botanical Horticulturist and Science Communicator
11.15 Refreshment break
Session 2:Technical Solutions
11.45 Making water use more efficient
Prof Tim Hess, Cranfield University
  "Searching for the sweet spot" Sugar beet in a changing climate
Dr Simon Bowen, British Beet Research Organisation
  Options to mitigate climate change within the livestock sector
Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading
13.00 Lunch
Session 3: Management and Sociological Solutions
14.00 Agriculture, food and climate – the need for adaptation, resilience and adaptability
Prof Tim Benton, University of Leeds
  Supporting transformative change
Caroline Drummond MBE, LEAF Chief Executive
  It’s complicated – the need to think holistically
Martin Collison, Collison and Associates
15.30 Closing remarks
16.00 Conference close

Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org


Early bird fees before Friday 15 February  2019

£60 SCI Member
£25 SCI Student Member
£40 SCI Subsidised Member
£80 Non-Member

Standard fees after Friday 15 February  2019

£80 SCI Member
£30 SCI Student Member
£50 SCI Subsidised Member
£100 Non-Member

SCI Platinum Corporate Members receive 25% off the above rates.

Become an SCI Member and save on this and future events

See Membership Options

Sign up as an Event Member to join this event. SCI Full or Student Members receive discounts on event registrations

Booking Process

For booking terms and conditions click here

CPD Info

SCI Members attending this meeting are able to claim CPD points.

CPR Accredition Logo
Additional Information

Organising Committee

  • Martin Collison, SCI/ Collison & Associates
  • Craig Duckham, SCI/ CD R&D Consultancy Services
  • Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, SCI/ University of Cambridge
  • James Garratt, SCI/ Enviresearch
  • Bruce Knight, SCI/ Innovation Management
  • Dr Liliya Serazetdinova, Earlham Institute
  • Andreas Soteriades, SCI/ Bangor University
  • Sokratis Stergiadis, SCI/ University of Reading

Call for posters

  • Are you conducting research into Agriculture and Climate Change?
  • Are you interested in resilience and sustainability of the food supply chain?
  • Do you have a great story to tell?

If any of the above applies, then you should present a poster. 
We anticipate an audience interested in the interaction between the foodsupply chain and climate change. Academic posters will be on show in the breaks between the plenary technical discussions. The sessions will cover "Agriculture and Climate Change"; "Technical Solutions"; and "Sociological and Management Solutions". 

To present a poster, please submit a one-page abstract to conferences@soci.org by Friday 15 February 2019 with "Climate change and agriculture - poster abstract" in the subject line. Prizes will be awarded for the best poster.  Prizes will be awarded for the 3 best posters, sponsored by the Enviresearch Foundation.

Exhibition and Sponsorship

An exhibition will take place alongside the conference for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. Please email conferences@soci.org for further information and prices. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Become an SCI Member to receive benefits and discounts

Join SCI