This series of essays addresses some of the challenges that arise when academics engage in research and other forms of collaboration with food businesses. Assessing what is at stake at the interface between academia and industry, the essays explore the practical, methodological, theoretical, and ethical challenges involved when food researchers engage with commercial partners, assessing whether they risk undermining academic independence and whose interests they serve. This introductory essay is followed by four case studies from the United Kingdom and Portugal, raising questions about why these issues have emerged more sharply in Europe than elsewhere. The essays are followed by a series of commentaries from different perspectives, opening up a debate with which we hope other readers will engage.

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