About Elta Smith

My name is Elta Smith, and I’m a researcher, writer and consultant.

A few years ago, I traded in long commutes from London to Cambridge and lots of business trips around Europe and beyond for the peace and beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales. I still travel, just a whole lot less.

Now I focus on what’s most important to me: better food systems for people and the planet.

For my clients, I deliver tailored insights through evidence reviews, evaluations, impact assessments, and foresight studies that help them make better decisions for our food systems, public health and environmental sustainability. You can learn more about working with me here.

About Elta Smith
Small seedling

In my own time, I write articles about the future of food. You can read more here. Or sign up for my newsletter to get my writing straight to your inbox.

I am also a trustee of the Food Ethics Council, a think-tank and charity that provides independent advice on the ethics of food and farming.

My greatest strength is my determination and drive to get things done, which means I’m focused and reliable. I see all my projects as a collaboration to produce the best possible results. As a company of one, you know you’re always getting dedicated, expert advice and support.

I believe food is something more than what we put on the table – it is integral to people and the planet. If you share these beliefs, let’s have a conversation. You can contact me here.

Small tree

My skills and experience

For more than two decades, I’ve directed research to shape policies in the UK, Europe, and internationally that support better decision-making about food, the environment and public health.

You can learn more about some of my most recent projects here.

I was formerly Director of the Innovation, Health and Science Group at RAND Europe. Before that, I led the food chain policy team within the Climate, Environment and Food Practice at ICF.

I also led a programme of independent research on developing and using plant biotechnologies in agricultural development and their implications for global governance and food security.

About Elta Smith
Supermarket vegetables


I am the recipient of a U.S. National Science Foundation Fellowship and the SV Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship in natural resource economics and political economy at the University of California, Berkeley.

I hold a PhD in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University and a BA in Environmental Science and Policy from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Bee hive and oil seed rape