Cabinet Secretary visits Rowett to hear about food research

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon MSP visited the Rowett Institute to hear about innovative research in food science.

Staff and students at the Rowett Institute welcomed the Scottish Government Minister on Friday, 13 May.

She met Director of the Rowett Institute Professor Jules Griffin and Professor Wendy Russell, Head of the Sustainable Food System and Supply Theme, which is part of the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme (SRP) on Friday, 13 May, to learn more about the Rowett Institute’s excellence in the field of human nutrition and to tour facilities.

Professor Griffin said: “It is a hugely exciting time for the Rowett as we plan the next five years of research. Food is at the forefront of everyone’s mind as the cost of living rises. Our specialist researchers are looking at how world events such as Covid and Brexit impact on people and the food we buy and consume.

“I was extremely pleased to welcome Ms Gougeon, and to have the opportunity to highlight our research which is having a positive impact on the people of Scotland. I am delighted the Scottish Government has once again shown its commitment to scientific research with this high-profile visit.

“The Rowett Institute has led landmark studies of diet and health for more than 100 years and is well placed to take forward research on how to achieve a healthy and sustainable diet as well as how to improve the health benefits of the food products we produce.”

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “As an alumna of the University of Aberdeen I always welcome the opportunity to revisit the institution where I studied.

"From supporting a healthy, nutritious diet, to making sure we produce food in a way that supports our net zero ambitions, the work of the Rowett Institute addresses some of the most urgent issues we face.

“Their ground breaking research will be invaluable in supporting the goals of the Scottish Government and will also provide important evidence that will shape policy development around the world."

The Rowett is part of SEFARI, the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes, a consortium of six globally renowned research institutes. As SEFARI, these institutes deliver the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme (SRP), which addresses key mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities. SEFARI are partners in the wider Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Portfolio. The partnership also continues with SEFARI Gateway - the knowledge exchange and impact hub for SEFARI which works to improve the flow of research, knowledge and expertise to and from policy, industry and the public - to provide multiple benefits and impacts.

Since 2016 the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health has been housed within a purpose-built building on the Foresterhill health campus which received significant investment from the Scottish Government. The purpose-built facility has brought research and teaching together and as a result makes up the largest concentration of nutritionists in the UK.

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