Food Security for an Emerging e-Commerce China

Innovative Approaches to Enhance Food Safety

Cornell University and Hebei Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Co. Ltd. hold a signing ceremony to mark the official start of a Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate collaborative research activities relating to produce microbial food safety in China.

Funded by the Walmart Foundation, a multidisciplinary team from Cornell is undertaking a three-year project centered around developing a novel approach to comprehensively address food quality and safety issues from farm to table. Food safety has emerged as a major concern of private food companies, policy makers, and consumers in China. While chemically related food safety issues have captured the headlines, microbial food safety issues extract a bigger public health toll in China. A multidisciplinary team from Cornell University—consisting of faculty from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, SC Johnson College of Business; and College of Veterinary Medicine—will take a systems approach that integrates food safety and economic analysis into a technological food safety and quality framework. Through a continuing collaboration with Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Company, one of the largest organic farms in China, the Cornell team will collect data along an entire fresh produce production and distribution chain. Qimei’s fresh produce production and distribution systems will be used as a model and an initial application to test rational decision models that can assist supply chain stakeholders in China to make better decisions about food quality and safety from the “first mile” to the “last mile.”

The two main goals of this research project are to: (1) build initial technical and economic models as well as document case studies to explain and predict food quality and food safety parameters within selected fresh produce markets in China; and (2) collect primary data on the bacteria levels, types, temperatures, days of shelf-life, prices, spoilage rates at critical points, and other essential factors along a fresh produce supply chain in China to build food safety big data of the selected fresh produce and for use in technical and economic model parametrization and validation.

Faculty and Staff Involved

SC Johnson College of Business: Applied Economics and Management

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Food Science

College of Veterinary Medicine: Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

 

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