Sustainable food supply chain workshop

Vast inefficiencies throughout the global food supply chain result in immense amounts of food loss and waste, with associated losses to our finite natural resources and harm to the environment and the climate.

A workshop, Engineering Strategies for a Sustainable Food Supply Chain on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 at the Friend Center will unite experts from several engineering disciplines with experts in psychology, sociology, public policy, and economics to explore the technological approaches to improvements.

Five multi-disciplinary technology areas will be addressed: food preservation, food spoilage and contamination, food waste management such as waste-to-energy biofuels, low-tech food storage for the developing world and systems-level analysis.

The workshop also will:

  • Identify technical challenges, gaps and barriers;
  • Examine case studies of cost-effective and efficient technologies related to the food-energy-water nexus and their impacts on the environment;
  • Determine technical requirements that enable tailored engineering solutions (e.g., novel sensor, packaging, and temperature and humidity control) through multi-disciplinary collaborative research efforts; and
  • Propose custom technical solutions for different steps in the supply chain and for different parts of the world at various stages of development.

The workshop is funded by the United Engineering Foundation and co-organized by Catherine A. Peters, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Uta Krogmann, associate professor and associate extension specialist in solid waste management at the Department of Environmental Sciences of Rutgers University; and others, as well as the AIChE, IEEE-USA and ASCE.

The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 on Tuesday. To register or for more information, click here.

Two short videos from FAO on food waste: