We’re exploring the possibility of a ‘mapping’ project about the market within the food sector generated by the population of Birmingham and the West Midlands conurbation — and what proportion of that market demand could be met by agricultural production in the surrounding shires.
We already have quantitative data about our nutritional requirements, and about our consumption and purchasing patterns at a national level. We also know what the global and national agricultural production is.
But what’s in the middle?
In the info-diagram above, we know the reliability of the data sources in the hexagons. We have little idea of the answers to the questions in the ‘clouds’. Or indeed, whether they are useful questions to ask . . .
It all depends, of course, on what specific question/s we’re seeking to answer. We’re talking to the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Warwick Crop Centre and Rothamsted Research to help us frame the right questions and, perhaps even more importantly, how a project we carry out here can contribute to our understanding of how to meet the huge challenges feeding the world, given population pressures, resource depletion and climate change.