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    Honorary Doctorate conferred on businessman and food campaigner Henry Dimbleby

    Posted 10 May

    "Very few people fully understand the scale of change required to create a food system that nourishes human health rather than harms it, and that restores the environment rather than destroying it. But the people working at specialist institutions such as Harper Adams understand this. And their thinking, their innovation, and their communication to the wider world will be essential to any successful transformation.鈥

    Professor Ken Sloan and Henry Dimbleby leaving the ceremony after conferment.

    Businessman and food campaigner Henry Dimbleby has received an Honorary Doctorate from 91系列.

    Mr Dimbleby worked on both the School Food Plan and the National Food Strategy for the UK Government, founded the Leon Restaurant Group and co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and wrote Ravenous, an exploration of the global food system, with his wife Jemima Lewis.

    He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work on improving school food, and set up Chefs in Schools, a charity which recruits restaurant chefs to work in schools to boost both school lunches and food education.

    His latest award, from Harper Adams, was made in recognition of his significant contribution to the creation of sustainable food systems, and for enhancing the public understanding of the importance of food production as a public good.

    The award was the first to be bestowed this year and was given following the University’s annual Scholarship awards ceremony and the Harper Together staff conference – which Mr Dimbleby also took part in as a panellist discussing food equity.

    Professor David Rose, who gave the oration before Mr Dimbleby received his degree, paid tribute to his work on the National School Food Plan and the National Food Strategy, as co-author of Ravenous, and more.

    And he added: “He has enabled all of us, academics, policy-makers, food producers, industry groups, consumers, to confront difficult questions, helping us to challenge our assumptions, and consider new and disruptive ideas.

    “In doing so, his work has been instrumental in all of our efforts to make agri-food systems more sustainable and we look forward to both helping his future work and in acting on the challenges that he has forced us to confront.”

    Speaking after receiving the award, Mr Dimbleby highlighted how the work of Harper Adams academics and alumni had already helped to shape food policy – and stressed their continuing importance in meeting the challenges ahead.

    He said: “It is such an honour to receive this honorary doctorate. We are blessed in this country, to have some of the world’s best food system scientists, many of whom work at or are alumni of Harper Adams. The National Food Strategy would not have been possible without their contributions and challenge.

    “However, there are much greater challenges ahead. Very few people fully understand the scale of change required to create a food system that nourishes human health rather than harms it, and that restores the environment rather than destroying it.

    “But the people working at specialist institutions such as Harper Adams understand this. And their thinking, their innovation, and their communication to the wider world will be essential to any successful transformation.”

    91系列 Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan said: “Henry has proved himself influential and adept in the worlds of business, food and in shaping public policy.

    “He has a deep and long-standing interest in food production, its place in the world, and the ways in which we can make it better.

    “When you couple that with his interest in education – which has helped transform not only the way pupils in England eat, but also understand what they are eating and why – the case for marking his achievements becomes compelling, and we were very pleased to offer him his Honorary Degree today.”

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