The Sonoco FRESH initiative at Clemson University has awarded research grants to three professors who are addressing issues associated with a safe, secure and sustainable food value chain. With funding provided by Sonoco (a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial paper packaging, healthcare, protective and retail packaging and industrial plastic products), the project subjects include packaging innovation and the environmental and societal impacts of home vs. commercially prepared salads.

The faculty members receiving the research grants are:

Igor Luzinov, Ph.D.
Kentwool Distinguished Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

R. Andrew Hurley, Ph.D. and Robert M. Kimmel, Ph.D.
Associate Professors
Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences

“Sonoco is thrilled to sponsor these innovative research projects led by esteemed members of the Clemson faculty,” said Jeff Schuetz, Staff Vice President, Global Technology, Consumer Packaging at Sonoco and FRESH Advisory Board Chair. “The multi-disciplinary FRESH RFP program recognizes the importance of developing solutions for each step of the food value chain.”

Sonoco FRESH has formed an Advisory Board to guide its efforts in creating innovative sustainable solutions. Each organization represented on the Advisory Board plays a critical role in the food value chain. The FRESH Industry Advisory Board includes the following leaders from industry and government:

Jeff Schuetz – Board Chair
Staff Vice President, Global Technology, Consumer Packaging

Alan Belcher
Senior Product Stewardship Engineer

Kathy Bolhous
President and Chief Executive Officer
Charter Next Generation

Ted Campbell
Senior Project Manager, Global Business Development
South Carolina Department of Commerce

Chalmers Carr
Owner/Chief Executive Officer
Titan Farms

Susie Engemann
East Division Sales Lead Pepsico Foodservice

Matt Hoffman
Tellus Products

Laura Jordan
Assistant Director, Agribusiness Development
SC Department of Agriculture

Josh Mellinger
Fresh Food Supply Chain Leader
Deloitte Consulting

Leah Powley
Sustainability Manager, Higher Education
Aramark, Clemson University

Raj Rao
General Manager, Blockchain Platforms

Jay Sperry
Platform Evangelist

Lee Spivak
Managing Principal – Sports and Entertainment
Waste Management

Marcy Thompson
Vice President, Marketing and Innovation

Stephen Tyner
R&D Manager

Tjard Westbroek
Global Sector Head Supply Chain

Drew Wilkerson
President, North American Transportation

The FRESH Advisory Board held its second meeting via Zoom on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Advisory Board members listened to presentations from Clemson faculty and staff on research and initiatives relative to the food value chain and brainstormed on priorities and opportunities.

“Developing innovative, sustainable solutions for the food value chain requires the collective intellectual capital and purposeful collaboration of industry and academic experts, brands and thought leaders,” said Anne Barr, Executive of Sonoco FRESH. “Each of these outstanding industry leaders will bring their own unique perspectives and insights to turn the issues we all face into opportunities to problem-solve, innovate and deliver solutions that promote sustainability.”

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