SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes

SEFARI aims to deliver ‘Leading Ideas for Better Lives’, reflecting that publicly funded research in Scotland must ultimately deliver positive impact for individuals, whether in Scotland or elsewhere.

As a collective, we collaborate to deliver the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021 on agriculture, environment, food and land.

Case Studies

Major weight loss in pregnant cows harms the development of their calves

Body condition scoring is a rapid way to assess fat coverage of livestock. In cattle it is scored on a 1 (lean) to 5 (obese) scale.

  • Plant and Animal Health
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Health & Welfare

Ecological Resilience – woodlands and tree pests/pathogens

Risk assessments of plant pests/pathogens rarely account for potential impacts on biodiversity associated with the affected host.

  • Climate and the Environment
  • Plant and Animal Health

Ecosystem resilience – woodland establishment on heather moorland and carbon budgets

Woodland expansion is a key part of the Scottish and Westminster Governments’ plans to meet net zero carbon emission targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively.

  • Climate and the Environment
  • Land and Communities

Should we graze the uplands of Scotland?

The continued grazing of the uplands is contentious as the goals of rewilding and farming/crofting often appear in conflict.

  • Agriculture
  • Climate and the Environment


12 May 2021

Eat them to beat them: Can Invasive Plants be Harnessed to Provide a Sustainable Source of Protein?

Agriculture bears the brunt of having to reliably supply food, ensure its own economic viability, while complying with environmental concerns. Farming comes under a lot of pressure to deliver produce, despite unfavourable climatic variation, changes in pest behaviour and the control of invasive plants.

12 Apr 2021

Why we need to consider the role of plants in the spread of zoonotic pathogens

Zoonotic pathogens are microorganisms transmitted by animals, which cause disease and illness in humans. Many of them are foodborne and are commonly associated with farmed animals, or less frequently with wildlife.


10 Jun 2021

Brainfood: Researchers find brain area associated with protein cravings

New research from scientists at the Universities of Aberdeen, Leicester and UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, has identified an area of the brain that may drive cravings for protein-rich food.

9 Jun 2021

New UK-Europe partnership to exploit barley resources and speed up breeding

“With the current development of the International Barley Hub at the James Hutton Institute, it is the perfect time for this award.


1 Nov 2021

UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

12 Aug 2021

Potatoes in Practice 2021

Potatoes in Practice is the largest filed-based potato event in the UK.

5 Jul 2021

Food & Drink Expo

One of the UK’s largest and most well-respected food and drink focused trade exhibitions, Food & Drink Expo is a biennial event for the grocery, food service, wholesale, manufacturing and speciality retail markets.


29 Jun 2021

Arable Scotland 2021

Arable Scotland seeks to bring together those working in food production, from farmers to distillers and exporters, to demonstrate and discuss key industry issues such as innovative and sustainable farming.



3 hours ago

RT @rowett_abdn: .@Dr_A_Johnstone is a leading scientist in #appetite control One of her passions is explaining facts & info busting diet…


5 hours ago

RT @PlantHealthScot: Scotland may be less favourable for Emerald Ash Borer than other parts of the UK currently, but our suitability will i…