Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an integral part of the Leavey School of Business. Since its inception in 1973, the Center has graduated more than 1000 MBA students, many of whom now hold important management positions in food business firms as well as government agencies throughout the United States and the world.
One of the major objectives of the Center is to provide students with an education in the functional areas of management with the application of modern business practices to the food industry.
Small Farms, Big Potential: Growing a Resilient Local Food System
In the News
Dr. Gregory Baker Talks with CBS Affiliate KPIX about Unharvested Produce in California Farms
On-farm food loss in northern and central California: Results of field survey measurements
Prevailing estimates of food loss at the farm level are sparse and often reliant upon grower surveys. A more comprehensive review of food loss at the farm level using field surveys is required to gain an adequate understanding of the depth of this issue. This paper details the results of 123 in-field surveys and 18 in-depth interviews of 20 different, hand-harvested field crops performed largely on midsize to large conventional farms in northern and central California. We also provide estimates of the percentage of fields that go unharvested, commonly known as walk-by fields. The results show that food loss is highly variable and largely dependent upon the crop, variety, market price, labor costs, grower practices, buyer specifications, and environmental conditions. On average, we found 11,299 kg/ha of food loss at the farm level, which equates to 31.3% of the marketed yield. When walk-by losses are included, this figure rises to 33.7%. Our paper also demonstrates that grower estimates are typically very unreliable for estimating on-farm food losses. Actual, measured edible food loss exceeded growers’ estimates by a median value of 157%. Strategies to utilize this lost produce could play a significant role in reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment and providing food for the rapidly growing population.
On Farm Research
Hunger Index Research Update
Working together, for over a decade, the Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University and Second Harvest of Silicon Valley have been measuring the need for food in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The Hunger Index is a product of this collaboration.
The Hunger Index is a combination of several measures of our community’s need for food. The main components are the meals required by vulnerable households in the two counties, the meals purchased by vulnerable households, and the food assistance provided by organizations like Second Harvest. The difference between the need for food and the food purchased or acquired through assistance is the missing meals – the unmet need for food. The ratio of the missing meals to the need for food is the Hunger Index. Of course, our goal as a community is zero missing meals.