Eminent agricultural sustainability scientist Dr. Jude Capper has been appointed to a new professorship in sustainable beef at Harper Adams University.

The role, which is sponsored by ABP, will see Capper lead the development of research and taught postgraduate programmes in sustainable ruminant meat production systems at Harper Adams. She will also work with ABP to further develop and deliver its sustainable beef research programme on its demonstration farm in Shropshire.

Prof. Jude Capper is a leading global authority on sustainable beef and dairy production, with particular focus on ruminant production systems in the UK and South America. She was recently awarded the prestigious John Hammond Award by the British Society of Animal Science.

Speaking about the new post, Prof. Capper said: “It’s increasingly crucial for academics to forge strong strategic partnerships with industry, as our research must be relevant, adoptable and important to the sectors that we serve.

"Given the major role that ABP play in British beef and lamb processing and the importance of ruminant livestock as a key part of UK food production, it’s a great opportunity to investigate, improve and communicate the importance of sustainable UK beef and sheep systems to all stakeholders from the consumer through to the retailer and policymaker.”

“As an industry, we must all demonstrate our dedication to reducing environmental impacts and achieving the net-zero goals laid out by UK government, through scientific, evidence-based innovations and practices.

"It’s crucial to determine the key factors and practices that will work synergistically to improve livestock productivity, resource use, greenhouse gas emissions and improve farm profitability, ensuring that British meat retains its position in the national diet,” she added.

Shropshire trials

Commenting on the announcement, Dean Holroyd, group technical and sustainability director at ABP said: “We are delighted to welcome Jude to this new and exciting post. Her appointment further cements the strategic partnership between Harper Adams and ABP.

"It will help in developing enhanced blueprints for more sustainable beef production in the UK and further afield whilst also balancing environmental and economic requirements.

"Jude is a global authority on sustainable beef production systems and her cutting edge insights will also prove invaluable in helping ABP on its journey to net-zero.”

Results announced earlier this year of a multi-year study involving over 4,000 animals at ABP’s demonstration farms in Shropshire and in Ireland have shown that the level of methane emissions in beef production systems could be reduced by up to 40% against ABP’s current average, when a more data-driven approach is applied across the supply chain.

In Northern Ireland, this research is currently being applied to ABP’s dairy beef collaboration with Dale Farm, the Horizon Partnership.