Sustainable Food System Seminar Series

The Sustainable Food System project was funded by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. The seminar series was co-hosted by the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law with the Future food Hallmark Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne, the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, the Deakin University Institute for Health Transformation, and the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University.

Cell Based Meat and the Future of Food: Policy and Politics

Friday, 2 July 2021
12.30-1.45 PM (online)

Speakers: Professor Robyn Warner (University of Melbourne) and Dr Hope Johnson (QUT)

Chair: Professor Christine Parker

In the first seminar series, Professor Robyn Warner presented her research on the production of alternative proteins and the development of sustainable, healthy and affordable protein products as Chair of the University of Melbourne’s Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative. She drew on the major research themes of the project, including human nutrition, life cycle analysis and water footprints, food science and engineering, consumer science, food policy and labelling to discuss how we may produce the meat, and ‘meat’, of the future.

Dr Hope Johnson (Queensland University of Technology) presented findings from her two socio-legal studies on cell-based meat and the law and discussed potential directions for the Australian regulation of cell-based products. She analysed existing intellectual property trends in cell-based products identifying implications for the future of the material, for its regulation and for broader societal outcomes.

Dr Johnson also outlined the findings of an analysis of the USDA-FDA Joint Public Meeting on Use of Animal Cell Culture Technology (2018) to explore the underlying assumptions and positions of key stakeholder groups. Drawing on these investigations, and her broader work in novel proteins, Hope will explore potential ways in which cell-based products will be regulated in Australia.

View the recording.

Growing Regenerative Agriculture – pathways and potential for scaling up

Friday, 30 July 2021
12.30-1.30 PM (online)

Image of cows in a pasture


  • Dr Charles Massy (Severn Park)
  • Mark Gardner (Regenerative Agriculture consultant, Vanguard Business Services)
  • Serenity Hill (Open Food Network)
  • Ross Davey (Central Victorian Regenerative Farmers)

Chair: Professor Rod Keenan (University of Melbourne)

There was a surge of interest in regenerative agriculture as a way of addressing multiple crises relating to climate change, soil and biodiversity. Adopting regenerative farming approaches has the potential to reduce GHG emissions and generate significant environmental and social co-benefits. But what’s the potential for scaling up regenerative agriculture at a national or global scale and how can we achieve it?

In the second seminar, a panel of experts and practitioners explored the potential to scale up regenerative agriculture, the pathways and challenges to scaling up and the policies and government support. The discussion was moderated by Professor Rod Keenan from the University of Melbourne.

View the recording.

Leveraging Responsible Investment for Sustainable Heathy Food Systems

Thursday, 19 August 2021
12.30-1.30 PM (online)

Fruit images

Speakers: Professor Christine Parker (University of Melbourne), Dr Rachel Carey (QUT) and Ms Ella Robinson (Deakin University)

Chair: Associate Professor Gary Sacks (Deakin University)

This one-hour webinar presented the results of a recent research study designed to explore the extent to which responsible investment practices in Australia currently support sustainable and healthy food systems. The aim of this webinar was to highlight the potential role of superannuation funds and other investors in contributing to sustainable and healthy food systems and discuss current practice and potential opportunities for increasing action on sustainable and healthy food systems in Australia and globally. The Q&A was moderated by A/Prof Gary Sacks from Deakin University.

View the recording of the webinar summarising the findings.