Current work

  • USDA AMS: CA Meat Supply Chains
    • FORMAL TITLE: Creating High Value Market Opportunities for California’s Small- and Mid-Scale Meat Producers.  (USDA AMS Grant #AM21RFSPCA1023-00)
    • PROJECT GOAL: Develop regional partnerships and supply chains in two regions of California, and the information tools to support them. 
    • DESCRIPTION: Our July 2021 UC Davis Food Systems Lab (FSL) study derived from interviews with over 30 supply chain stakeholders, a literature review and consultation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, revealed challenges and opportunities. The pandemic, drought, and fires intensify the already acute processing challenges linked to California’s inspection system, insufficient producer collaboration and NIMBYism often associated with anti‐meat sentiments. The study recommends how producers can improve processing access and market opportunities. This proposal builds from that study and seeks to facilitate development of effective collaboration among links in supply chains and to optimize processing, inspection and marketing systems that convey the value propositions of the small and mid‐scale producers. The FSL team, its collaborator from the Niche Meat Processing Assistance Network, and our strategic advisors will work with two cohorts of producers, processors and buyers over three years in two regions to implement synergistic actions that will optimize processing and marketing of high value meat from small and mid‐scale producers. Our primary goal is to create two new regional supply chains that highlight product attributes conveying quality and value. We aim to supply institutional systems such as UC Davis Health and sports venues with ground meat and restaurants and other retailers with the more expensive cuts. The work will ultimately result in more economic opportunity for producers and increased system resilience.
  • NSF RCN: Smart Foodsheds
    • FORMAL TITLE: Developing an Informational Infrastructure for Building Smart Regional Foodsheds.  (NSF Award SCC.RCN.1737573)
    • PROJECT GOAL: Develop an informatics framework for understanding and optimizing regional food systems (“foodsheds”). 
    • DESCRIPTION: This project develops a transdisciplinary research coordination network (RCN), bringing together researchers and community stakeholders to build a general informatics framework for understanding and optimizing the food system. The project will enable two foodsheds—the 6-county Sacramento, California region and the 7-county Columbus, Ohio region—to link multiple data types from multiple sources and convert it into usable information through data analytics approaches.
  • EPA Sacramento Regional Assessment
    • FORMAL TITLE: Human Health, Ecosystem Services, and Their Economic Value as Part of a Sustainability Assessment for the Sacramento Region
    • PROJECT GOAL: To include human health and well-being variables as part of land use sustainability planning scenarios.
    • DESCRIPTION: Systematic land use planning for sustainability does not typically include human health and well-being as explicit inputs. In this project, we test the effects of including issues related to human health, ecosystem services, and community well-being on the outputs of a standard land use planning process, as compared to a typical process using only environmental variables.
  • Ecuador Banana Assessment
    • FORMAL TITLE: Benchmarking Sustainability for the Banana Industry in Ecuador
    • PROJECT GOAL: To aid the banana industry in Ecuador in improving its sustainability outcomes for the entire industry—at a national level.
    • DESCRIPTION: This project will conduct a baseline sustainability assessment for the Ecuadorian banana industry for use as a benchmark in guiding strategies and measuring progress going forward.
    • FORMAL TITLE: International Conference-Consortium-Center for Food Ontology Operability Data & Semantics
    • PROJECT GOAL: To build the semantic platform for the Internet of Food (IoF).
    • DESCRIPTION: The platform will enable interconnection of ecosystems of both open and proprietary technologies capable of supporting decision-making and automation, as well as appropriate levels of traceability and transparency. ASI collaborates on components related to the underlying informatics structure and building out aspects related to the environment and agriculture domains.
  • RAMP
  • eXtension

Earlier work

  • Sustainable Sourcing of Agricultural Raw Materials Project (2012-2016) -- click for info 
    • The Agricultural Sustainability Institute and the Information Center for the Environment at UC Davis undertook an initiative to enhance the sustainability of agricultural raw materials sourcing across the supply chain. This goal was to assist food companies and other food system stakeholders by creating publicly-available and scientifically-validated information and tools to advance sustainability in agricultural sourcing decisions. The project involved a critical review of sustainability issues, best practices and indicators of key dimensions of food system sustainability at various scales, and has become a foundational component of our Food System Informatics program.

  • Strategic Growth Council