The newly renamed Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI) is changing to meet the challenges presented by a more complex global marketplace, director Amy Kircher said.
“Our goals are similar to what they were in the past – to protect the food supply,” Kircher told Crop Protection News. However, as the production of food around the world has become more multifaceted, so too must FPDI, she said of the institute formerly known as the National Center for Food Protection and Defense.
Since starting more than a decade ago, the institute “has seen a huge change” in the food marketplace, Kircher said. For instance, global manufacturing and distribution of food, as well as ever-changing best food-production practices, have caused the world to struggle with infrastructure and sanitation issues globally, she said.
“In response to these problems,” Kircher said, “the institute has expanded its role to help companies solve food problems abroad.”
Additionally, the FPDI has been structured to meet the needs of this evolving food sector and dynamic food supply by bringing to the table state-of-the-art research and knowledge of domestic and global issues.
“We seek to work on challenges to food protection and defense by finding innovative solutions that are implementable at the ground level, whether that is a port or a food production facility,” Kircher told Crop Protection News. "The name change allows us to do that in many contexts to include looking at vulnerabilities in the global food supply chains or when there are micro-disruptions that layer to create a trigger for a major food system disruption."