Cranfield School of Management is the lead partner in a major new project to dramatically improve the food supply chain in order to meet the rising global demand for food and protect the environment.
Rising food demands from a growing global population, increasing energy prices and the need to reduce environmentally damaging emissions are the drivers for the three year research project - Step Change in Agri-Food Logistics Eco-Systems (SCALE).
"In the face of increasing environmental uncertainties and resource limitations, Project SCALE has the ambitious goal of both increasing economic competitiveness in the food and drink supply chain, improving environmental sustainability and also improving the wellbeing of those working in the sector," said Dr Denyse Julien, Senior Lecturer in the Supply Chain Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management .
Dr Julien went onto say: "Working with organisations across Europe, we will develop an innovative approach to measuring food supply chain's performance, a collaborative framework to drive the right behaviours and an ICT platform to enable the transformation."
The project will deliver a set of tools and frameworks for the food sector to enable them to make changes to operational practices in order to improve the efficiency, visibility and sustainability of food logistics.
The outputs will be piloted across a range of food networks in north-west Europe, to demonstrate how the new approaches can deliver the improvements needed whilst still meeting both consumer expectations and the targets set by government.
Dr Carlos Mena, Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain at Cranfield commented: "An important aspect of this project is to align behaviours across networks. Collaboration across national boundaries and entire networks will need new innovative business models which Project SCALE will deliver."
Dr Denyse Julien and Dr Carlos Mena from Cranfield are leading the project which is funded by the INTERREG IVB North-West Europe, a financial instrument of the European Union's Cohesion Policy. It funds projects which support transnational cooperation.
The five partners for Project SCALE are Cranfield School of Management, European Food and Farming Partnerships (EFFP), DHL, Wageningen University and the Université d'Artois.