IFC Overview

Food related collage

The Integrated Food Chain (IFC) Center is a collaborative initiative that brings the food industry, academia and government together to focus on integration issues for improving cold chain management of perishable food products. The IFC center provides strategic leadership and direction for collaboration among all of the stakeholders in the food chain to understand and prioritize problems; research and determine the methodologies, processes and technologies to overcome these problems; and leverage education to provide the human capital necessary to plan and execute exceptional food chains.

The IFC Center was established by Georgia Tech's Supply Chain and Logistics Institute and Sterling Solutions LLC as a collaborative effort among academic, government and industry constituents. Our vision is to assure that growers, processors, retailers and logistics providers can deliver on their "quality promise" in highly efficient ways through the use of systematic and synchronized linkages throughout their supply/cold chains.

There is a critical common need for both domestic and international food chains to embody engineering systems that integrate the flow of food through the diverse components of the chains. Most food chains are loosely coupled entities with limited coordination, imperfect alignment, and inconsistent infrastructure and processes. The result is tremendous waste and excessive safety risk combined with loss of product and excessive logistics costs. Our vision is to assure that growers, producers, distributors, retailers and logistics providers can deliver on their "quality promise" in highly efficient ways through systematic and synchronized integration along their supply/cold chain.

Food chain integration requires that entities within the food supply chain cooperate to achieve certain desired results. The foundation for integration is that each component in the food chain must themselves be operated effectively. However, for effective integration, companies must consider both their own needs and those of downstream participants in operating their portion of the cold chain.