It is motivated by increasing compliance and reporting requirements, surging capital allocation needed to comply with ESG principles, and growing demands for transparency by customers and consumers.
It will take advantage of maturing digital technologies and focus on novel solutions to ensure safe, high-quality and sustainable food and the circularity and sustainability of supply chains.
Our researchers collaborate with stakeholders, including academia and customers, to create and share insights, concepts, and prototypical solutions and anticipate future trends.
A trilemma for the food and beverage sector
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Quote: 1996 World Food Summit
Driven by technologies, consumer needs, regulations, geopolitical instability and, last but not least, the effects of climate change, the food and beverage (F&B) sector is facing a significant transformation. A good example of change is the transformation of globalized supply chains into different models, such as “nearshoring” strategies, that rely on the high prioritization of sustainable procurement practices. In this fast-changing scenario, all the players in the value chain must adapt. To tackle the supply chains’ new challenges, the global F&B sector needs to find solutions by broadening its perspective and going beyond short-term profits.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) set the fundamentals to address the challenges facing the F&B sector at large by defining Food Security. According to this definition, the problem must be regarded as a trilemma consisting of:
- Quality - the need to provide and guarantee safe, nutritious, genuine and secure products to consumers.
- Sustainability - the need to provide and guarantee products whose environmental, social and governance impacts have been considered along the whole supply chain.
- Availability - the need to provide and guarantee safe and nutritious products to the final consumer at the right place and time and in adequate quantities.