06 August 2019 | News
The agreement was funded by a three-year, $2.5 million grant
Cornell and China’s Hebei Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Co. Ltd., an organic food group, have signed an agreement in June to collaborate on microbial food safety research. The agreement was funded by a three-year, $2.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to Cornell.
The Walmart Foundation’s Enhancing Sustainable Food Safety giving strategy focuses on efforts to increase transparency, and improve producer and consumer education.
The Cornell team – with faculty from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the College of Veterinary Medicine – aims to take a whole-system, sustainable-model approach that integrates food safety and economic analysis.
The Cornell researchers will collect data on bacterial types and levels, storage temperatures, shelf life, prices and spoilage rates at critical points along the fresh produce supply chain.
Qimei – based in Handan, Hebei, south of Beijing – is one of China’s largest organic farms and was an official supplier to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The company previously has partnered with other Cornell groups, including the former Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, the Department of Food Science, and the Department of Crop and Soil Science for projects on food safety, soil testing and organic certification initiatives. Qimei’s fresh produce production and distribution systems will be used to test the new food safety models.