The United Nations projects that the World population will reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion by 2050. Extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and rising temperatures are negatively affecting food crops and agricultural viability. The challenge to provide food, energy and water to current, and future, populations is immense for the reason being, food, energy and water are tightly linked, interdependent and there are only limited amounts of each resource. Promoting a sustainable food supply chain that saves energy and water, reduces waste generation, and practices pollution prevention is essential for our future generations.
The Rutgers EcoComplex promotes a sustainable food supply chain in New Jersey and the Region. We believe that a sustainable food supply chain will not only improve the bottom line of the supply chain members, but also help mitigate climate change by reducing the carbon and water footprint of food production, processing, distribution, and waste generation. Utilizing waste resources more efficiently will in turn supply healthier food to New Jersey and the region.
Movements of Food in Food Supply Chain
Sustainable Agriculture for Pollution Prevention:
Sustainable Agriculture has an integral part in achieving pollution prevention, mitigating climate change and developing sustainable food systems. Sustainable Agriculture and pollution prevention actions will be more successful if the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus Concept is integrated into agricultural activities.
In addition to the activities listed above, farmers can improve their sustainability activities with the following actions:
New Agricultural Approaches & Pathways for Sustainable future and reduce Pollution:
Food Distribution for Sustainability & Pollution Prevention:
Freight Sustainability includes reduced idling, using electrified truck stops to avoid using diesel for long time parking. Fleet owners should be aware of the importance of:
Innovative Refrigerated Warehouses for Sustainability & Pollution Prevention:
Refrigerated warehousing is important since it is critical for food safety and shelf life to keep food cold between where the food is grown, prepared and consumed. This importance has also increased with new trends in consumer expectations, purchasing styles and behaviors. Consumers’ newly formed preferences include delivery of prepared food, or a full container of ingredients, to their home. There is more demand than ever for refrigerated warehouse space. Young and informed consumers are more interested in information about the sustainability of the food they consume including the source, carbon and water foot print, and also, social impact of the food. Therefore, the overall sustainability and environmental practices of refrigerated warehouses are much more important.
Refrigerated warehouses can serve as intelligent hubs to enhance power grid sustainability through integrating renewable energy