Postharvest consultancy around the world

November 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle College lecturer Dr Chris Bishop has been providing postharvest consultancy to organisations around the world and has been invited to give expert analysis and opinion at key global conferences.

This week, Chris gave seminars and lectures to students at the University of Lisbon - the largest higher education and research institution in Portugal - after it joined the World Food Preservation Centre LLC’s worldwide consortium of thirteen “sister” universities and the ARO Volcani Center in Israel to reduce postharvest food losses in developing countries and diminish world hunger.

Last week, the Reader in Postharvest Technology travelled to Spain to present a talk on the transport of fruit and vegetables as part of a course held by the University of Almeria for students and representatives of local industry. The technical updating course receives assistance from Cajamar, a local bank, and is held two days a week over a five-week period. Chris also participated in a lively round-table session with companies such as the international giant of the fresh produce industry, Univeg.

Last month, Chris gave a lecture at the Zoological Society of London conference, The future of food – the future of biodiversity? The conference looked at the global impact of UK food consumption and Chris outlined how food is lost or wasted all the way from the field to the fork: UK (Europe) per capita food losses and waste are around 280kg per year of which nearly 100kg is wasted by the consumer while in sub Saharan Africa food losses and waste are 165kg of which only 10kg is wasted by the consumer. He outlined how waste could be reduced by raising awareness in the home, improved packaging and storage, and changes in technology.

Chris is also providing postharvest consultancy for the Black Earth company, which farms 270,000ha in Russia. He is responsible for providing advice on the handling and storage of potatoes, carrots and onions between the field and the store, before being sold to the customer. The majority of the potatoes go to a crisp factory near Moscow owned by Pepsi Co. Recently, Chris was joined by his colleague, Senior Lecturer in Agriculture and Farm Management Henry Matthews, who carried out an audit on the process and production of the potatoes and carrots.