Giulia Nicolini

Researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets

Giulia Nicolini's picture
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Languages: English, Italian (fluent), French (basic), Japanese (basic)

Giulia works on agri-food systems, with a particular focus on small-scale production, informal markets and the links between food and environment.

Giulia’s research sits at the intersection of food, environment and development. Much of her recent work has centred on understanding the nature and performance of the informal food sector, particularly retail and consumption. She has also conducted research on sustainable agriculture in East Africa, food systems and climate change, and supported work on sustainable diets.

Giulia has a strong interest in feminist approaches to research and leads on a number of gender mainstreaming activities within IIED.

Her previous research has addressed a range of food systems challenges, including supply-side barriers to vegetable consumption in the UK, chokepoints in global food trade, and perceptions of food safety. She has also conducted research on technology and human behaviour, and on the role of social science in food safety risk agencies.

In addition, Giulia is interested in the history of foodways and the cultural dimensions of food. She is a social science researcher experienced in qualitative methods, particularly ethnography, surveys and interview techniques.


Agri-food systems; food consumption and sustainable diets; food safety; food and agriculture policy; history of food and agriculture; local foodways.

Before IIED

Research consultant at Stripe Partners (London); intern at the European Food Safety Authority (Parma), The Food Foundation and Chatham House.


MA in anthropology of food, SOAS (London)

BA sociology, University of Cambridge.

Current work

Reflecting on smallholder inclusion in global value chains as a pathway to sustainable development; understanding perceptions and behaviours related to quality and safety in informal dairy markets in Assam, India; exploring the links between household cooking, energy access and nutrition; integrating feminist approaches, gender and intersectionality into research.