Cross-university, interdisciplinary food systems training to improve food security and environmental outcomes


The food system is not functioning the way it should anymore, IFSTAL is designed to bring about the systemic change that the food system requires in order to limit the negative outcomes its currently delivering and prepare for the future.


IFSTAL is an interactive training programme designed to improve knowledge and understanding of the food system. It brings together expertise and experience of faculty and students from five leading higher education institutions (RVC, LSHTM, SOAS, The University of Oxford and The University of Warwick). IFSTAL addresses the urgent lack of a workforce skilled in food systems thinking. It will adopt a range of teaching methods and a virtual learning environment to link students with the complementary skills of the collaborating institutions. In addition, a comprehensive research placement and internship programme is being developed, strengthening links with potential employers.


Through IFSTAL, students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and opportunities needed for them to be more effective in the workplace. This will allow them to address the systemic failings in food systems which have resulted in about one billion people being hungry, two billion lacking sufficient nutrients, and over two billion overweight or obese. Over 200 students have registered with IFTSAL with over 500 alumni have secured jobs in food related areas and many of these reported either partly or directly due to engagement in the programme, bringing IFSTAL’s approach to food systems thinking into the workplace.


The University of Oxford

The University of Warwick

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

UCL - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)


Title Publication Year
Developing a Functional Food Systems Literacy for Interdisciplinary Dynamic Learning Networks. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 2021


Top of page