The Centre for Rural Economy is a Newcastle University Research Centre specialising in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society, and the wellbeing of rural communities.

CRE is now on Twitter. Follow us @cretweeting for all the latest news and comments.

Read the latest news about what CRE staff are doing in their regular blog.

Latest News

Newcastle academic appointed to Farm Animal Welfare Committee

Carmen Hubbard has been appointed as a member of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC), the expert committee that advises the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales on the welfare of farmed animals.  Carmen has been appointed as an agricultural economist and also brings extensive experience of interdisciplinary research at the Centre for Rural Economy, particularly within the field of animal welfare.  Her appointment will last for three years and as well as serving on the FAWC itself she will be a member of two sub-groups: the Ethics, Economics, Education and Regulation Standing Committee, and the Evidence Working Group.

published on: 21st January 2015

Researcher finds similarities in rural challenges facing UK and Japan

Rural areas in Japan and the UK are experiencing many of the same challenges caused by an aging population as young people move away to live in the city.  As one rural Japanese resident told CRE researcher Carmen Hubbard on her recent month-long fellowship in the country “Tokyo is like a black hole. It sucks everything in”.  Carmen continues an account of her visit in the CRE blog.

published on: 15th January 2015

Some EU farmers are missing out on income opportunities

Czech farmers are producing plenty of quality crops and milk but often they are being exported in bulk for processing in neighbouring countries and then reimported in the form of processed products meaning that the domestic agri-food industry is losing out on potential profits. This was one of the messages from speakers at the roundtable held at the second COMPETE workshop in November at the Department of Economics of The Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague.  This missed income is an issue for several EU member states but the speakers felt that the Czech Republic seems to be losing out more than most.  They emphasised the importance of national policy actions to promote Czech agriculture and food processing to capture the missed income opportunities. One solution is to help farmers form consortiums to obtain PDO/PGI designations for traditionally and locally produced foods and to advertise their benefits to consumers.  There are also possibilities for new income opportunities via expanding exports to non-EU countries although these are often volatile. However, to ensure sustainable success on these foreign markets, further support at a national as well as an EU level is required (e.g. negotiations at the EU level regarding the technical standards of food products).  Newcastle’s local contact for the COMPETE project are Matthew Gorton, Newcastle University Business School ( and Carmen Hubbard in CRE/SAFRD ( ) and more information is available on the website .

published on: 13th January 2015

rss iconwrite news icon