Synthesis report:

(summary of the outputs from the 7 feasibility studies in 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:


Veldhuis, A. J., Glover, J., Bradley, D., Behzadian, K., Butler, D., Cottee, J., Downing, C., Farmani, R., Ingram, J., Leach, M., López-Avilés, A., Pike, A., De Propris, L., Purvis, L., Robinson, P., and Yang, A. ‘Environmentally sustainable localised food systems: Opportunities and challenges’ (2017), Production Planning & Control: Special Issue on Redistributed Manufacturing.

Abstract: Addressing the intersection of two important emerging research areas, re-distributed manufacturing (RDM) and the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus, this work combines insights from engineering, business and policy perspectives and explores opportunities and challenges towards a more localised and sustainable food system. Analysis centred on two specific food products, namely bread and tomato paste reveals that the feasibility and potential of RDM vary with the type of food product and the supply chain (SC) components. Physically, energy efficiency, water consumption and reduction of waste and carbon footprint may be affected by scale and location of production activities and potentials of industrial symbiosis. From the business perspective, novel products, new markets and new business models are expected in order for food RDM to penetrate within the established food industry. Studies on policies, through the lens of public procurement, call for solid evidence of envisioned environmental, social and economic benefits of a more localised food system. An initial integrated framework is proposed for understanding and assessing food RDM and the FEW nexus.


Cottee, J, Lopez-Aviles, A, Behzadian, K, Bradley, D, Butler, D, Downing, C, Farmani, R, Ingram, J, Leach, M, Pike, A, De Propris, L, Purvis, L, Robinson, P and Yang, A (2016) The Local Nexus Network: Exploring the Future of Localised Food Systems and Associated Energy and Water Supply In: Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2016 (Smart Innovation Systems and Technologies). Special Volume. Springer, pp. 613-624. ISBN 3319320963.

Abstract: This volumes consists of 59 peer-reviewed papers, presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (SDM-16) held in Chania, Crete, Greece in April 2016. Leading-edge research into sustainable design and manufacturing aims to enable the manufacturing industry to grow by adopting more advanced technologies, and at the same time improve its sustainability by reducing its environmental impact. SDM-16 covers a wide range of topics from sustainable product design and service innovation, sustainable process and technology for the manufacturing of sustainable products, sustainable manufacturing systems and enterprises, decision support for sustainability, and the study of societal impact of sustainability including research for circular economy. Application areas are wide and varied. The book will provide an excellent overview of the latest research and development in the area of Sustainable Design and Manufacturing.


Anton Johannes Veldhuis, Aidong Yang (2017). Integrated approaches to the optimisation of regional and local food–energy–water systems. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 18:38-44

Abstract: Optimisation of regional and local food–energy–water systems that takes into account the connections between the three sectors is classified into ‘integration based on footprint’ and ‘integration based on co-decision’. Footprint-based approaches focus on the decision on one main system while using static footprint data to account for the links with other systems. By contrast, co-decision based approaches aim to simultaneously optimise multiple, interconnected systems. Choosing between these two approaches needs to consider the nature of the interactions between different systems as well as data availability and the feasibility of implementing the optimisation results. Future research in this area is expected to broaden decision targets and to improve the handing of the multiple scales involved in integrated food–energy–water decision making.


Event reports:

Final conference: ‘Localising Food Systems: The food-energy-water nexus issues of re-distributed manufacturing’ at the University of Oxford. (December 2016)


Cross RDM Network event, Oxford (September 2016)


Workshop: Made in Oxfordshire (December 2015)

The Made in Oxfordshire workshop was an interactive session focused around questions connected to local food manufacturing, such as the benefits, costs and challenges of more localised manufacturing of food and drink products.


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

The workshop was held at the Wellcome Collection, London to exchange ideas with stakeholders involved in the food and drink sector and learn about what we both understand by ‘localised food manufacture’ and what changes and conditions might be needed in the future to increase local food manufacturing.


Launch event and scoping workshop (March 2015)



From smart engineering to shared prosperity for food production

Driving the supply chain to more local food production

The meaning of manufacturing

Redistributed Food Manufacturing: Opportunities and Concerns

The ‘perfect storm’ of problems around water, energy and food

The pros and cons of local food production

Brewers, bakers and marmalade makers: survival and revival in local food manufacturing