Berks to discuss viability of Center for Agriculture and Food Innovation
For over 250 years, agriculture and food processing have been the primary drivers of our regional economy. On Thursday, Oct. 15, Penn State Berks will host a meeting of industry leaders and researchers to discuss the viability of a proposed Center for Agriculture and Food Innovation (CAFI) in Reading, PA. Representatives from food manufacturers in the tri-state area, researchers from the USDA Eastern Region Research Center, the Berks County Industrial Authority, and Penn State faculty are expected to be in attendance.
In the manner that most ideas are born, the inspiration for the CAFI originated through identifying a need. Increasingly, the agricultural and food processing industries are pressured to create more products, implement more cost reductions, and develop more distribution channels. They must do all this while constantly facing a daunting safety, environmental, and regulatory environment.
The mission of the CAFI is to create a state-of-the-art center that provides an environment and the resources to help the existing food and agricultural industry to be more efficient, competitive, and responsive to ever-changing food trends and agricultural practices. The center will focus on research, development, and processing of foods for the future.
One of the main goals of the meeting will be to determine whether viability of this project is demonstrated. If this happens, then CAFI will become part of a "next generation" research park planned in Reading, Pennsylvania.