College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Sonoco FRESH to hold first Food, Packaging & Sustainability Summit


CLEMSON, S.C. – June 9, 2020 – Sonoco FRESH, a Clemson University initiative, will host its first Food, Packaging & Sustainability Summit on campus Feb. 25-26, 2021. In preparation for the Summit, the FRESH initiative will be holding sneak peek webinars in Sept. 2020.

With the theme of “Safe. Secure. Sustainable.,” the Summit offers a unique opportunity to stimulate high impact discussions on how the issues associated with each part of the food value chain can be used as opportunities to drive business and benefit society. As attendees, industry and academic experts will participate in presentations, panels and roundtables to foster knowledge growth and solutions. Registration for the Summit will open in late summer 2020.

The Summit will feature opening remarks by Kyle Tanger, U.S. environmental sustainability and climate change leader, and Josh Mellinger, fresh food supply chain leader for Deloitte Consulting LLP. Tanger is the leader of the U.S. Environmental Sustainability Consulting practice at Deloitte Consulting LLP. Mellinger’s extensive experience focuses on sustainable supply chain, fresh food operations and food waste reduction services.

“We are looking at a very different world than any of us could have imagined just a few short months ago. With health and wellness as our top priorities, food safety and sustainability are more crucial than ever,” said Anne Barr, executive director of Sonoco FRESH. “Clemson has unique expertise that includes the entire food value chain, from production to distribution, consumption to recycling. The need for collaborations and innovative approaches to ensuring consumer confidence in the safety and sustainability of the food they purchase has never been greater.”

The Summit will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 24 with an evening reception in the Harris A. Smith Building on Clemson’s campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics as well as the new Sonoco FRESH innovation studio. Thursday’s sessions will include presentations, panels and roundtables concluding with a Scrappy Hour and Farm to Fork Dinner. During the Scrappy Hour Chef Joel Gamoran, food waste crusader and host of A&E’s hit series “Scraps” will give a cooking demonstration using food scraps. During dinner the student hosts will present research on “NextGen Thinking about Food and Sustainability.” Friday’s program will focus on the connection between safe and secure packaging with sustainable solutions.

In preparation for the Summit, the FRESH initiative will be holding Sneak Peek webinars featuring the talented professionals who will be presenting at the Summit.

  • September 22, 2020 at 11:00 am (ET): Virtual coffee hour with Deloitte Consulting’s Kyle Tanger and Josh Mellinger, who will discuss current observations across the fresh food supply chain.
  • September 23 at 4:00 pm (ET): Wrap up your afternoon with chef Joel Gamoran, food waste crusader and host of A&E’s hit series “Scraps” as he demonstrates tasty ways to use food scraps in your cooking.

To register for the sneak peek webinars and to request more information on the Summit, please visit

In addition, the Sonoco Institute will host a virtual Sustainable Packaging Design Workshop Sept. 23-24, 2020. This workshop is a packaging primer that describes the role of designing for sustainability in a circular economy. The course, split into four one-hour sessions across two days, will take a holistic approach to packaging, starting with the basics of packaging materials, why packaging matters, drivers of sustainability, current end-of-life scenarios and the opportunities of a total life-cycle design process. Industry members wishing to attend the packaging workshop can take advantage of an early bird discount registration fee of $395 until August 1, at which point the price will increase to $495.

More information on the Summit and workshop, including agenda and speaker updates, can be found at Sponsorships are available.


About Sonoco FRESH
The mission of Sonoco FRESH, a Clemson University initiative, is to have a major impact on the safety, security and sustainability of food. This means looking holistically at the food life cycle and identifying opportunities to reimagine processes, technologies and behaviors. More information on the Sonoco FRESH initiative can be found at

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