Assessing Regional Farm-to-Institution Food Distribution Systems: An Agent-Based Approach

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2014-01-01
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Beamon, Benita
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Krejci, Caroline
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering teaches the design, analysis, and improvement of the systems and processes in manufacturing, consulting, and service industries by application of the principles of engineering. The Department of General Engineering was formed in 1929. In 1956 its name changed to Department of Industrial Engineering. In 1989 its name changed to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
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The long-term sustainability and resilience of the industrial food supply system is threatened by its extremely high rate of resource consumption and its lack of structural complexity. Seeking a safer, healthier, and more sustainable alternative, farmers and consumers are increasingly participating in localized food systems. Scaling up the capacity of localized food supply chains (FSCs) to meet growing consumer demand will require the development of new types of marketing and distribution channels. The farm-to-institution channel, in which farmers sell their products directly to institutional and retail customers, is of particular interest. This paper describes an agent-based approach to modeling and analyzing FSCs, with an aim of investigating the impact of farm-to-institution distribution on emergent FSC structure and sustainability outcomes.

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This proceeding is published as Krejci, Caroline C., and Benita M. Beamon. "Assessing Regional Farm-to-Institution Food Distribution Systems: An Agent-Based Approach." In Proceedings of the 2014 IIE Annual Conference and Expo. May 31-June 3, 2014, Montreal, Canada. Posted with permission.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014