Practices in Zimbabwean and British chicken meat production and consumption

Grantham Scholar Patience Muchada researched chicken supply chains with a focus on food safety.

Global food security is arguably one of the greatest challenges of this age. One of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is aptly titled Zero Hunger (SDG 2), with a target of ensuring that all people have continuous access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food by 2030.

Chicken meat is becoming increasingly popular and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it was the most commonly consumed meat in 2016 globally, surpassing the previously popular pork. In the same year, the UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) conducted a nationwide microbiological survey for campylobacter contamination in UK produced chickens at retail sale. This irony – that the world’s most popular meat potentially carries the number one food borne illness causing agent in the UK – was one of the initial drivers for this project topic.

This PhD looks at practices in chicken meat production and consumption, with special interest in food safety and standards. For a wider perspective, I study the chicken meat supply chains of two case studies, one from the global North – the UK, and one from the global South- Zimbabwe.

Using interdisciplinary input from microbiological reports, qualitative data collected through interviews and observations, and archival data from oral history research, I aim to improve current understanding of practices in production and consumption of chicken meat.

Outcomes of this project may be used to advise on crucial moments and methods for intervention delivery along the supply chain to ensure safe meat supply for consumers. The research should also be able to make theoretical and empirical contributions to discussions, and literature, on food safety.


Is Quorn sustainable? Quorn invited the Grantham Centre to come to their factories to find out. Patience wrote about her experiences for us, and produced one of the most successful blogs on our website! Read: Is Quorn Sustainable by Patience Muchada.

Patience went to Zimbabwe to teach schoolchildren about the importance of sustainable living. Read: Grantham Scholars share sustainability messages with schoolchildren in Zimbabwe.

For Journal Club Dr Farida Vis presented research that uses Twitter to improve food safety. Patience, who is supervised by Farida, sets out the possibilities and limitations of using social media as research data. Read: Can Twitter save us from unsafe food? By Patience Muchada.


Professor Peter Jackson

Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food


Dr Farida Vis

Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Peter Horton

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology