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Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Blog for news, events, announcements, and more.

  •  Making Sustainability Work: Annie's Inc.

    On Thursday, October 17th, the Food and Agribusiness Institute partnered with a number of other campus groups to bring Shauna Sadowski, the Director of Sustainability for Annie’s Inc., to the Santa Clara campus to discuss the company’s sustainable business practices and goals. Shauna began her presentation by sharing Annie’s mission statement, which reads: “Our mission is to cultivate a healthier, happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet. We have focused on building a successful and growing business in pursuit of our mission.”

     Shauna delivered an informative and creative presentation that explained the company’s unique approach to sustainability in the work place, the company’s main environmental concerns, and current projects that aim to help Annie’s be more sustainable while also raising awareness about smart and organic agriculture. Annie’s prides itself on its wide range of organic products and its attention to farm to fork and relationships with farmers.

    The Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) Department helped to co-sponsor the event and many ESS students expressed interest in pursuing careers that are similar to Shauna’s. The event had a great turnout and Shauna was a personable presenter who provided interesting information about Annie’s as a company and also offered insight to the world of sustainability and eco-friendly careers. 

    Thank you Shauna for visiting Santa Clara and thank you to all who attended the event! 

  •  FAI Wine Field Trip - October 26th!

    It is once again time for FAI's annual wine field trip! We have an exciting agenda planned for Saturday, October 26th and hope you will join us!

    We will be visiting Guglielmo and Thomas Kruse wineries and will stop at Clos LaChance winery inbetween for a picnic lunch. The event is open to everyone 21+ and requires preregistration. 

     Agenda:

    - Meet at 8:30 AM in front of Santa Clara University Mission Church. We have a tight schedule so the bus will leave promptly at 8:45 AM.

    - 9:30 - Arrive at Thomas Kruse

    - Tour and tasting at Thomas Kruse from 9:30 - 11:30

    - 11:30 - Travel to Clos LaChance

    - Lunch at Clos LaChance from 12:00 - 1:30

    - 1:30 - Travel to Guglielmo

    - Tour and tasting at Guglielmo from 2:00 - 4:00

    - 4:00 - Travel back to SCU

    - Arrive back to Santa Clara University between 4:30 - 5:00 PM.

    The cost is $35 for FAI Specialization students and alumni, and $45 for guests not affiliated with FAI. The price includes all transportation, lunch, and tastings!

    Visit the Eventbrite page at https://winefieldtrip2013.eventbrite.com/ to register!

  •  Cost of a Healthy Meal Research Project

    It has been over two years since the inception of the “Cost of a Healthy Meal” research project in the summer of 2011. Our research team has conducted over 740 interviews thus far and by October 2013 we intend to collect and analyze 800 primary interviews, as well as secure 100 secondary and 100 tertiary follow-up interviews.

    This study is growing in popularity among the SCU campus community which is evident by the increasing amount of student interest in the project. This spring, we received nearly 70 internship applications for 16 internship positions. The first group of interns recently wrapped up their work and the second group has begun training and is eager to start site visits. 

    Our data has been extremely useful in understanding the constraints low-income populations have for obtaining a healthy diet. Statistics show that the average expenditure on food is around $5.93/ day with a high variation of $4.30-$9.52. Regardless of variation, our data shows the majority of individuals within Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are spending more than the $5.37/ day that the USDA claims is sufficient for a healthy diet.

    The research team has grown substantially and is utilizing the different skill sets of our student research assistants.  Stay tuned for a formal update at a later FAI event!


    ~ Update courtesy of Courtney Robinson, Research Assistant and FAI MBA Specialization Student

  •  SCU Students take First Place at IFAMA Case Competition

    Congratulations to Alvin Chen, Tina Cosentino, Ngoc Dao, Michael Billikopf, and Zach Wise for taking First Place in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association’s Annual Case Study Competition! The team, who are all SCU MBA students, traveled to Atlanta, Georgia in June to compete in the competition.

    The IFAMA International Student Case Competition is one of many features of the IFAMA annual world conference. The Competition provides an opportunity for MBA students to participate in a simulated analysis of a business management problem. The students have a chance to apply their MBA skills and education while networking with like-minded students and businesspeople. The competition requires the students to know the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and requires independent thinking as well as teamwork and collaboration. 

    The 2013 Competition brought together students from a number of different countries, providing participants with a diverse and enriching experience. The 22 teams worked for four hours on the first case, digesting the case, developing a creative and practical solution, and building a presentation that accurately communicated their analysis and recommendations. A panel of judges deliberated over the different solutions and narrowed the pool down to four finalist.

    The final four teams included Santa Clara, University of Hawaii, Wageningen University, and Nanjing University. The top four teams proceeded to the second round and completed another case study analysis. The Santa Clara team triumphed in the second round and took home First Place! FAI is thrilled by the efforts of the SCU IFAMA team and is excited to see what else the bright students will do in the future, both at Santa Clara and beyond!

    Check out what the students had to say after the competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEOlsQzhGbE

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