Professor Anne Tallontire

Professor Anne Tallontire


I am an inter-disciplinary social scientist with over twenty years of experience. My background is in economics, politics and development studies. I have undertaken research in various parts of Africa, including Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Sudan and South Africa. Much of my research focuses on the way in which the private sector affects development, particularly through trade and corporate social responsibility. I look at this in two different ways: through a focus on supply chain relationships and also sustainability standards, such as fair trade.  I am also interested in the nature of partnership in multi-stakeholder and cross-sector contexts.  More recently I have begun to undertake pedagogical research on student transition into higher education, sustainability in the curriculum and global educational partnerships. 

I joined the University as a lecturer in 2007 and was made a Senior Lecturer in Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility in 2010 and then Professor of Sustainability and Business in May 2019.  Prior to joining the University of Leeds I was a Research Fellow at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich.

I was Director of Student Education for the School from 2012-16 and then Pro-Dean for Student Education for the Faculty from 2016 to 2022.  I am currently a Fellow of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE).



  • LITE Fellow, Sustainable Curriculum Leadership Team

Research interests

In my research I have considered who benefits in the supply chain, whose voice is heard in the governance of the supply chain, and the standards that are used to promote sustainability. My experience has largely been I the agri-food sector where I focus on the impacts and perspectives of those at the producer end of the chain. I have undertaken research and consultancy projects for a variety of national and international clients, including UK Department for International Development, Department for Food and Rural Affairs, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, Foreign Investment Advisory Service of the World Bank, Ethical Trading Initiative, United Nations Common Fund for Commodities, Food and Agriculture Organization, Hivos.

I am a member of the Fair Trade International Symposium (FTIS) Steering Group, the leading international group of academics and practitioners working on fair trade. The next FTIS will be hosted at Leeds in 19-21 June 2023.

Current projects:

Co-I: Healthy soil, Healthy food, Healthy people (H3), 2021-25, for UKRI Healthy People and a Healthy Environment SPF programme,  Programme Website: H3: Research on Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People  Details of Workpackage 6:  Improving Resilience in Supply Chains | H3 

Lead researcher: Redefining Sustainability in the Curriculum, Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, 2022-24

Recent research

PI: Farmers' perspectives on challenges in the food system: a collaborative research partnership, funded by the AHRC, to March 2022.  See this profile and reflections here 

N8 Agri-food Strategic Pump Priming project “Differentiated resilience in global food systems: a food sovereignty approach”. PI working with Elisa Greco and colleagues across SRI and the Uni as well as York, Lancaster and Newcastle. To March 2018.

Co-Investigatator for BURNS - Building Up Resilience in Supply Chains, a White Rose Colloborative Project. including the following working paper:

Anne Tallontire, Bob Doherty, Chee Yew Wong, William Young, Mike Tse, Severine Saintier, Zoe Ollerenshaw, Mina Said-Allsopp, Corrado Topi, David Oglethorpe (2015) Building up resilience in agricultural supply chains:towards an integrated approach, SRI Working Paper No. 79, SRI Papers (Online) ISSN 1753-13

ESRC LSSI Impact Accelerator Grant: “Embedding a learning culture and facilitating Fairtrade –academic links” . PI working with Joy Justice, building on her PhD work with Fairtrade International. This has led to a joint paper (due out shortly in Food Chain) & workshop with the Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning Unit at Fairtrade International and a training tool for facilating academic-NGO resarch partnerships, see briefing note "Game play as a safe critical space for exploring research collaboration" .

Climate Information for Resilient Tea Production (CI4T), CoI on project funded by CDKN from May 2017 to April 2018 led by Professor Andy Dougill,

I was Principal Investigator for an ESRC-DFID research project - The Governance Implications of Private Standards Initiatives (2007-2010). Much of my research has been related to sustainability standards including fair trade. I recently wrote a chapter on Fair Trade in Africa to this edited volume: The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade, eds. Laura T. Raynolds and Elizabeth A. Bennett, London: Edward Elgar, March 2015. .

This working paper draws on some of my experince on sustainability standards:

Tallontire, A., Nelson, V., Benton, T. and Dixon, J. (2012), ‘A review of the literature and knowledge of standards and certification systems in agricultural production and farming systems’. NRI Working Paper, No.2. September, 2012. UK: Chatham.

PhD Supervision

Completed PhDs

  • Mina Said Allsopp: Female Empowerment Within Global Value Chains: A Study of the Dynamics of Employment within Kenyan Export Industries
  • Betty Chinyamunyamu: The Impact of Government Interventions in Agriculture on Women Farmers: The Case of the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)
  • Rowshan Hannan: Reducing poverty through co-operative enterprises
  • Rebecca Howard: Pathways to ‘Fair Carbon’: Assessing Fairness in Standard Setting and Carbon Projects
  • Adrian Fenton: Climate change adaptation and microfinance: A potential win-win scenario?
  • Claudia Pollen: An Analysis of Women’s Agency in the Zambian Floriculture Industry using a Global Production Network Approach: Mechanisms and Pathways for Agency.
  • Liz Morgan: Ways of framing climate change to drive material scale mitigation and adaptation strategies of large consumer-facing businesses
  • Simon Manda: Large Scale Agricultural Investment and livelihood impacts: the case of sugar in Zambia
  • Laura Smith:The making of Uganda’s oil: An exploration of subnational dynamics in an emerging East African oil frontier
  • Heather Briggs: Sustainable Intensification: insights from vertical farming on the links between diffusion of innovation and the business model 

I am currently supervising the following PG researchers:

  • Jose Manuel Vega Barbero: Supply chain resilience through fair trade and co-operative governance [with Bob Doherty at York and Rory Padfield]
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA (1st class honours) Economics, Politics with North American Studies, University of Leeds, 1991
  • MA (Distinction) Development Studies, University of Leeds, 1993
  • PhD, Development and Project Planning Centre, University of Bradford, 1999

Professional memberships

  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Development Studies Association

Student education

Until recently I was the Faculty of Environment’s Pro-Dean for Student Education.

I continue to chair the University’s Professional Development and Recognition Group in Organisational Development and Professional Learning (ODPL) and lead a project on Creating a Supportive Environment for Teaching and Scholarship.

I am a member of the Leadership Team for the Sustainable Curriculum programme, which is part of the University’s Climate Plan, leading on the scholarship and evidence base and supporting professional development on education for sustainable development.

First a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy Fellowship in 2010, I became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in February 2024. 

I was awarded a University Student Education Fellow (USEF) in 2013. Using funds from this award I undertook an investigation into how staff can facilitate better engagement in group work by students. This project "Making Group Work Work" has produced the following which have been presented and discussed at faculty and LITE Seminars (September and October 2016) and the University’s annual Student Education Conference (Jan 2017).

I currently contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching on the BA Environment and Business, MSc Sustainability and Business & MSc Sustainable Food Systems programmes, drawing on my experience of the role of the private sector in development, sustainable supply chains and the role of private and multi-stakeholder standards such as Fairtrade.

Research groups and institutes

  • Business Organisations for Sustainable Societies
  • Environment and Development
  • Sustainability Research Institute

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>