Posted 3 November 2011
The first graduation ceremony for participants in the international Masters in Food Identity course was held recently in Angers in France, and was attended by Harper Adams Principal, Dr David Llewellyn, and senior lecturer and course co-ordinator, Anne Taylor.
The Masters in Food Identity course allows participants to investigate the development and production of traditional food products across five European nations supported by global marketing. Traditional food products are those that have a particular geographical designation or set of human, physical or biological characteristics that make them unique to a particular location.
Harper Adams is the UK representative in the consortium of educational institutions that provides the course. The students travel to a number of countries in the process of their studies to experience traditional food production, food analysis and marketing methods at first hand, and to consider the similarities, and differences, that each country brings to its local food systems.
The course also covers topics such as sensory analysis and consumer behaviour, enabling participants to develop and use a range of skills during a work based professional project at the latter stages of the degree. Graduates are likely to seek careers in food production and food technology, food marketing or in the policy arena surrounding the designation of traditional food products.
The graduation ceremony was preceded by a lecture by Mme Fanny Lossy, a representative of oriGIn, the organisation based in Geneva which represents more than two million producers of food with geographical indication that are located across 40 countries. Her talk on the Protection of Appelations of Origin and Geographical Indications in the European Union covered likely developments in legislation emerging from an EU review of the system of geographical designation.
A second lecture by Professor Remi Lambert, of the University Laval, Quebec, considered the development of Reserved Designations in North America. The audience had the opportunity to hear not only about the importance of traditional food products to local and national economies, but also to hear how the concept of geographical designation is spreading worldwide in order to protect and enhance the quality of traditional food products.
The ceremony marked an important stage in the development of the pan-European collaboration and was attended by senior representatives of the participating institutions but also by the international group of 25 students who comprise the third cohort on the Master degree.
Dr Llewellyn said: "They have a challenging programme ahead of them, in some cases learning in a second or even third language as well as travelling and studying in unfamiliar countries, but they had the chance to witness the success of those who had started on the same journey not long before, and to share in this very special occasion."
The Masters in Food Identity course is supported by the European Union’s Eramus Mundus programme which encourages international student and staff mobility and collaboration between universities across Europe.
The partners in the course are Ecole Superieure D’Agriculture D’Angers (ESA Group) (France); FESIA (France); VetAgro Sup of the University of Clermont Ferrand; ISARA of the University of Lyon, (France); Catholic University of Sacro Cuore (Italy); University of Leon (Spain); Harper Adams University College (UK); University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca (Romania); and INEA Valladolid (Spain)