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Objective

Americans are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, meeting increased demand for these highly nutritious foods will be challenging for domestic production regions in the United States. These supply chains are undergoing significant innovation and transformation as a result of multiple drivers including: consumer preference for fresh produce grown locally; climate change and increased competition for natural resources; cost and availability of labor; efforts to improve sustainability profiles; and the rise of protected and peri-urban production.

Using an integrated, collaborative approach, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional team co-led by the ILSI Research Foundation and the University of Florida will help the US maintain a nutritious, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-sound food supply.

Collaborators & Partners

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, University of Florida, International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services, Washington State University

Areas of Focus

In 2017, the ILSI Research Foundation and the University of Florida were awarded a $3 million, four-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) for the project “Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities”.

The goals of the project are to: 

  • Enhance the productivity, resilience, and sustainability of domestic produce supply chains
  • Use integrated (crop, economic, environmental) modeling to identify and test adaptation & mitigation strategies for these systems

Current Activity

The project team includes scientists, extension specialists, practitioners and students from the ILSI Research Foundation (ILSI RF), University of Florida (UF), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), University of Arkansas (UARK), University of Illinois (UIUC), Washington State University (WSU), and World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES).

The focus of the team is on strategies and land use change resulting from innovation in domestic produce supply changes. 

Crop modeling, economic modeling, and environmental modeling will be used to determine current and future climate and water availability impacts on yield, quality, price, and environmental profile of selected fruit and vegetable crops.

Crop Modeling

UF, WSU, and UIUC will determine current and future climate and water availability impacts on yield and quality of selected fruit and vegetable crops in current and potential future production states

Economic Modeling

IFPRI and WAEES will determine current and future prices and production costs of selected fruit and vegetable crops, with a focus on California, the Pacific Northwest and Southeast

Life Cycle Assessment Modeling

UARK will identify and evaluate cost-effective adaptation and mitigation opportunities

Stakeholders & Extension

ILSI RF, UF, and WSU will engage stakeholders and decision makers to ensure models reflect realistic practices and that outputs provide useful, actionable information

Crops

8 crops were selected based on importance to nutrition as well as data and model availability:
potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, green beans, strawberries, sweet corn, carrots and spinach.

Resources

Presentation

Read an informative presentation of the project.

Trifold

Access a quick description of the project.

Filter

Sustainable Agriculture Summit

Kansas City, MO, USA

The Sustainable Agriculture Summit convened diverse stakeholders from across the food and agricultural supply chain to discuss opportunities to advance continuous improvement in agricultural sustainability. The ILSI Research Foundation, University of Arkansas and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops  organized a one-hour Breakout Session on “Innovating Resilient US Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Exploring Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities.”

Read more

CQuest

St. Louis, MO, United States

The ILSI Research Foundation organized a two-day workshop to develop prioritized research targets for supporting vital agricultural goals.

Read more

Fruit & Vegetable Modeling Workshop

Davis, CA, USA

The ILSI Research Foundation, UC Davis’ World Food Center, the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, and the Southeast Climate Consortium co-organized a workshop to improve data and modeling approaches for fruits and vegetables in order to support assessments of climate and water system impacts on sustainable nutrition security.

Read more

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View the presentation the ILSI Research presented during our session “Innovating Resilient US Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Exploring Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities”.

Download the Presentation

Access the University of Arkansas News Release, “Scientists Lead New Efforts to Enhance Sustainability of Produce Supply Chains”, that focused on the breakout session at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit.

Download the News Release

Overview: Hosted by Field to Market, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the National Pork Board, the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Summit convened diverse stakeholders from across the food and agricultural supply chain to discuss opportunities to advance continuous improvement in agricultural sustainability. The vision of the Summit is to strengthen the supply chain network of producers, agribusinesses, retailers, and influencers who drive continuous improvement in agricultural sustainability and deliver food, fiber, and fuel to a growing world. The event provided opportunities for members of the agricultural supply chain to engage with leading experts and learn more about key sustainability challenges and opportunities.

Breakout Session: The ILSI Research Foundation, University of Arkansas and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops organized a one-hour Breakout Session on Thursday at 9am. This session presented new and on-going efforts to enhance the productivity, resilience, and sustainability of domestic produce supply chains, including a new 4-year USDA-funded project: “Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities,” as well as the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops’ on-going work to develop and maintain sustainability performance metrics for specialty crops. All participants were asked to join a facilitated roundtable discussion on future trends in these supply chains, which are now undergoing significant innovation and transformation as a result of multiple drivers: consumer preference for fresh produce grown locally; climate change & increased competition for natural resources; cost & availability of labor; efforts to improve sustainability profiles; and the rise of protected & peri-urban production.

For more information about this breakout session, please email rf@ilsi.org
For more information about the Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains Project, visit the project page.

Registration: To register for the Summit, please visit the conference website.

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Speaker Presentations

Dr. Charles W. Rice

Keynote “C-Quest: The Climate Research Challenge for Agriculture”

Watch the Video

Mr. William Hohenstein

USDA Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry

Watch the Video

Dr. Nick Goeser

Integrating US Midwest Field Research Networks for Climate Adaptation

Watch the Video

Dr. Keith Paustian

Soil GHG Mitigation: Bringing ‘pie-in-the-sky’ down to earth

Watch the Video

Dr. Bob Reiter

Private Sector Perspective on Climate Research

Watch the Video

Dr. Suzanne Lutfalla

“4 per 1000” – Carbon Sequestration in Soils for Food Security and Climate

Watch the Video About Agenda Summary Report Briefing Packet News Release Presentations Accomodations About

c-questlogoThe ILSI Research Foundation, together with Monsanto Company, Soil Health Partnership, Washington University in St. Louis, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, organized a two-day workshop in October 2016 focusing on developing research targets for supporting agricultural goals that: support achievement of USDA’s “building blocks” for climate smart agriculture; integrate existing US Midwest field research networks for climate adaptation; and develop a research agenda to achieve a “carbon-neutral” agri-food system in the US through a focus on soil carbon and soil health, including validation of soil carbon protocols.

 

Agenda

Click here to view the agenda.

Program: The workshop covered several topics, including:

  • C-Quest: The Climate Research Challenge for Agriculture
  • USDA’s Building Blocks for Climate-Smart Agriculture
  • Integrating US Midwest Field Research Networks for Climate Adaptation
  • Achieving a “Carbon-Neutral” Agri-Food System through Soil Health
  • Private Sector Perspective on the Urgency of the Climate Research Challenge for Agriculture
Summary Report

Click here to view the report summarizing the outcomes of the workshop.

This report contains a full session summary, participation and polling information, and the top research targets identified for US Agriculture during C-Quest: Charting a Course for Climate Research in Agriculture. It also includes research needs and polling results for each of the breakout topics.

Briefing Packet

Click here to view the briefing packet.

This briefing packet was circulated to all workshop participants two weeks before the workshop. At the workshop itself, plenary presentations were used to provide background, raise the level of understanding of all participants, and describe workshop deliverables. The majority of workshop time was spent in breakout groups, where individuals were given ample time to provide their personal input on the research targets. This briefing packet provides some background information on the nine breakout topics.

News Release

"C-Quest 2016: Charting a Course for Climate Research in Agriculture"
ILSI Research Foundation Brings Together Expert Scientists and Farmers To Prioritize Top Research Needs for US Agriculture
View the ILSI Research Foundation official news release about CQuest here.

"Soil Health Key Topic of Landmark Climate-Smart Agriculture Meeting"
Heavy-hitters in ag, environment join forces for course-charting event in St. Louis
View the Soil Health Partnership New Release about CQuest here.

"Soil Health Tops Summit Agenda in St. Louis"
Seven “powerhouse” sponsors recently coordinated a St. Louis agricultural seminar focusing on techniques to strive for progressive and climate-smart agricultural practices throughout the farming industry.
View the Crop Protection News Report Article about CQuest here.

"Steps to Reduce Farming's Carbon Footprint May Also Boost Production"
Experts say farming practices that lead to carbon neutral food production can also contribute to higher production.
View the Brownfield Ag News for America Article about CQuest here.

"Increasing Carbon Sequestration in Soils"
What could climate change mean for ag?
View the Sustainable Agricultural Innovations and Foods Blog Post about CQuest here.

Presentations

Keynote “C-Quest: The Climate Research Challenge for Agriculture” (presentation)(video)
Dr. Charles W. Rice, Kansas State University

USDA’s Building Blocks for Climate-Smart Agriculture (presentation)(video)
Mr. William Hohenstein, US Department of Agriculture

Integrating US Midwest Field Research Networks for Climate Adaptation (presentation)(video)
Dr. Nick Goeser, Soil Health Partnership

Achieving a “Carbon-Neutral” Agri-Food System through Soil Health (presentation)(video)
Dr. Keith Paustian, Colorado State University

Private Sector Perspective on the Urgency of the Climate Research Challenge for Agriculture (presentation)(video)
Dr. Robert Reiter, Monsanto Company

“4 per 1000” – Carbon Sequestration in Soils for Food Security and Climate (presentation)(video)
Dr. Suzanne Lutfalla, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Accomodations

Meeting attendees should make their own hotel reservations by contacting one of the following hotels:

Cheshire Inn

Address: 6300 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117
Telephone: (314) 647-7300
Website: http://bit.ly/CQuest16Cheshire
Price: $135 per night

Sheraton Clayton Plaza

Address: 7730 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63146
Telephone: (888)627-8535
Website: http://bit.ly/CQuest16Sheraton
Price: $125 / $135 includes complimentary shuttle to/from Washington University in St. Louis

For directions to Hillman Hall, please click here.

Speakers

Dr. Goeser Cquest2016

Dr. Nick Goeser

Soil Health Partnership

cquest_hohenstein_william

Mr. William Hohenstein

US Department of Agriculture

Dr. Mike Lohuis CQuest2016

Dr. Mike Lohuis

Monsanto Company

Dr. Lutfalla CQuest 2016

Dr. Suzanne Lutfalla

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Dr. Chris Novak CQuest 2016

Dr. Chris Novak

National Corn Growers Association

Dr. Himadri Pakrasi CQuest2016

Dr. Himadri Pakrasi

I-CARES

Dr. Keith Paustian CQuest 2016

Dr. Keith Paustian

Colorado State University

Dr. Bob Reiter CQuest 2016

Dr. Bob Reiter

Monsanto Company

Dr. Charles W. Rice CQuest 2016

Dr. Charles W. Rice

Kansas State University

Dr. Sally Rockey, CQuest 2016

Dr. Sally Rockey

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Dr. Barbara Schaal CQuest 2016

Dr. Barbara Schaal

Washington University and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences

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View the presentation the ILSI Research presented during our session “Innovating Resilient US Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Exploring Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities”.

Download the Presentation

Access the University of Arkansas News Release, “Scientists Lead New Efforts to Enhance Sustainability of Produce Supply Chains”, that focused on the breakout session at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit.

Download the News Release

Overview: Hosted by Field to Market, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the National Pork Board, the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Summit convened diverse stakeholders from across the food and agricultural supply chain to discuss opportunities to advance continuous improvement in agricultural sustainability. The vision of the Summit is to strengthen the supply chain network of producers, agribusinesses, retailers, and influencers who drive continuous improvement in agricultural sustainability and deliver food, fiber, and fuel to a growing world. The event provided opportunities for members of the agricultural supply chain to engage with leading experts and learn more about key sustainability challenges and opportunities.

Breakout Session: The ILSI Research Foundation, University of Arkansas and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops organized a one-hour Breakout Session on Thursday at 9am. This session presented new and on-going efforts to enhance the productivity, resilience, and sustainability of domestic produce supply chains, including a new 4-year USDA-funded project: “Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities,” as well as the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops’ on-going work to develop and maintain sustainability performance metrics for specialty crops. All participants were asked to join a facilitated roundtable discussion on future trends in these supply chains, which are now undergoing significant innovation and transformation as a result of multiple drivers: consumer preference for fresh produce grown locally; climate change & increased competition for natural resources; cost & availability of labor; efforts to improve sustainability profiles; and the rise of protected & peri-urban production.

For more information about this breakout session, please email rf@ilsi.org
For more information about the Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains Project, visit the project page.

Registration: To register for the Summit, please visit the conference website.

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Seven Food System Metrics of Sustainable Nutrition Security

Sustainability considerations have been absent from most food security assessments conducted to date, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change.

Read more

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DOI: 10.3390/su8030196

Background: The world faces an escalating challenge to meet accelerating demand for sustainably-produced, nutritious food in the face of human population pressure, resource scarcity, ecosystem degradation, and climate change. As the ambitious Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) give way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), about 795 million people globally are still without sufficient calories and at least two billion lack sufficient nutrients.  The ILSI Research Foundation has developed and published a new paper giving a unique set of metrics for measuring food system performance.  The metrics make it possible to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Abstract: Sustainability considerations have been absent from most food security assessments conducted to date, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change. In addition, previous food security work has generally focused only on achieving adequate calories, rather than addressing dietary diversity and micronutrient adequacy, both of which are critical to maintaining a healthy overall nutritional status. In response to the limitations of previous assessments, a new methodology is proposed here based on the concept of “sustainable nutrition security” (SNS). This novel assessment methodology is intended to remedy both kinds of deficiencies in the previous work by defining seven metrics, each based on a combination of multiple indicators, for use in characterizing sustainable nutrition outcomes of food systems: (1) food nutrient adequacy; (2) ecosystem stability; (3) food affordability and availability; (4) sociocultural wellbeing; (5) food safety; (6) resilience; and (7) waste and loss reduction. Each of the metrics comprises multiple indicators that are combined to derive an overall score (0–100). A novel SNS assessment methodology based on these metrics can be deployed by decision-makers and investors to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Download the journal article here.

Resources

Download the metric paper news release here.

Download the 7 food system metrics of sustainable nutrition security infographic available in English or Spanish.

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DOI: 10.3390/su8030196

Background: The world faces an escalating challenge to meet accelerating demand for sustainably-produced, nutritious food in the face of human population pressure, resource scarcity, ecosystem degradation, and climate change. As the ambitious Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) give way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), about 795 million people globally are still without sufficient calories and at least two billion lack sufficient nutrients.  The ILSI Research Foundation has developed and published a new paper giving a unique set of metrics for measuring food system performance.  The metrics make it possible to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Abstract: Sustainability considerations have been absent from most food security assessments conducted to date, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change. In addition, previous food security work has generally focused only on achieving adequate calories, rather than addressing dietary diversity and micronutrient adequacy, both of which are critical to maintaining a healthy overall nutritional status. In response to the limitations of previous assessments, a new methodology is proposed here based on the concept of “sustainable nutrition security” (SNS). This novel assessment methodology is intended to remedy both kinds of deficiencies in the previous work by defining seven metrics, each based on a combination of multiple indicators, for use in characterizing sustainable nutrition outcomes of food systems: (1) food nutrient adequacy; (2) ecosystem stability; (3) food affordability and availability; (4) sociocultural wellbeing; (5) food safety; (6) resilience; and (7) waste and loss reduction. Each of the metrics comprises multiple indicators that are combined to derive an overall score (0–100). A novel SNS assessment methodology based on these metrics can be deployed by decision-makers and investors to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Download the journal article here.

Resources

Download the metric paper news release here.

Download the 7 food system metrics of sustainable nutrition security infographic available in English or Spanish.

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Media Coverage

Scientists Lead New Efforts to Enhance Sustainability of Produce Supply Chains
University of Arkansas, 2017 
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USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
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USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
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With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
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ILSI Research Foundation Co-Leads New Effort to Improve US Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains
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With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
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USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2017
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With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
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USDA Issues $3m Grant to Find More Places for Growing Produce
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ILSI Research Foundation Co-Leads New Effort to Improve US Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains
ILSI Research Foundation, 2017
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Research Team Explores Impact of Climate Change on Future of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
University of Arkansas News, 2017
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