The Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network for Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) project ran from 2015-2017 and has developed an evidence-based research agenda and fostered an inclusive community of researchers, businesses and stakeholders for sustainable local nexuses.


Food, energy and water are among the most essential requirements for a thriving society. Under the pressures of a growing world population, improving living standards in emerging economies and the changing climate, the grand challenge in meeting these three essential requirements has been widely recognized in the past few decades.  The term “food-energy-water (FEW) nexus”  has been used in recent years and recognises the inter-connectedness between the three sectors. In addition, a second emerging trend is “Re-distributed manufacturing (RDM)” – the manufacturing of goods via small, decentralised production facilities in contrast to the  large scale, centralised manufacturing processes that are more common today.

This project focused on the combination of these two emerging trends by assessing the opportunities and challenges of localising food manufacturing. Since RDM focuses on manufacturing, the focus has been on processed food products using bread and tomoto paste as examples. Apart from the interconnectedness of the physical resources food, energy and water, the way food supply systems are organised also has a large impact on socio-economic factors. In addition, policies can influence both the physical and socio-economic aspects of food supply systems. Therefore, within the LNN project a multilayer approach has been adopted in which food supply systems are evaluated from the physical, socio-economic and policy perspectives.

Research questions derived from the findings for each theme can be found in the feasibility projects pages.


The LNN has produced the following outputs:


Synthesis Report

A synthesis report is available that has summarised the outputs from the 7 feasibility studies into one document.

Executive summary

Full Synthesis Report


Feasibility project reports




Business models and practices

Policy and society

System integration

Innovative food technologies




Journal and Conference papers


Event reports


Final conference: Localising Food Systems: The food-energy-water nexus issues of re-distributed manufacturing  (December 2016)

Cross RDM Network event Oxford (September 2016)

Workshop: Local Food Processing and Supply: Challenges and Opportunities (April 2016)

Workshop: Made in Oxfordshire (December 2015)

Workshop: Discovering if our food systems could operate at local level (November 2015)

Launch event and scoping workshop (March 2015)