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Food & Agribusiness Institute

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

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  •  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

  •  Summer 2013 Updates

    Happy August from FAI!

    As the new school year approaches, we are reflecting on the exciting and productive work that has taken place at FAI in the past several months. The Food and Agribusiness Institute frequently collaborates with Second Harvest Food Bank on a number of different projects, and this summer was no different.

    SHFB Summer Internship

    Sarah Madden, a rising junior at Santa Clara, recently wrapped up her internship with Second Harvest Food Bank. Sarah's work focused primarily on assisting Susan Takalo, Director of Programs and Services at SHFB, with distributing the Hunger Survey in the San Jose area

    Sarah is now heading off for a voyage with Semester at Sea and will return in January to continue working on her undergraduate studies, focusing on her FAI pathway.

    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 600 interviews thus far, and by October 2013 they intend to have collected and analyzed 800 primary interviews, as well as secured 100 secondary and 100 tertiary follow-up interviews. The summer research team expanded to include 16 interns, seven research assistants, and one graduate student manager. We are excited about their recent progress and eagerly await the next formal update.

    Fall Immersion Trip

    The FAI staff is gearing up for the Institute's annual immersion trip! FAI Director Dr. Gregory Baker, and Assistant Director Erika French-Arnold, will be taking 12 students to Burma in September for a 13-day excursion. The students will have the opportunity to learn about the agriculture of various areas in Burma by speaking with the locals, exploring limestone caves, and learning about Burmese traditions such as silk weaving and meditation. We wish the group the best of luck on the adventure!

    IFAMA Student Case Competition

    FAI is proud to announce that a group of MBA students took 1st place at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association's Student Case Competition this past June in Atlanta, Georgia. We can't wait to see what else the students will accomplish during their time at Santa Clara and their future careers!

     

    FAI has several exciting events in the works for fall, so check back soon and get all the information!

     

     

    Five MBA students pose proudly after taking first place in the IFAMA Student Case Competition in Atlanta, Georgia this past June.
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