The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) at Sydney University is setting up a training centre specifically aimed at the food and beverage supply chain.

ITLS has joined forces with the University of Newcastle to establish the centre.

“The ARC Centre for Food and Beverage Supply Chain Optimisation will train the next generation of multidisciplinary researchers capable of designing and managing safe, sustainable, and cost-effective food supply chains vital to the industry’s future,” said centre chief investigator Associate Professor Behnam Fahimnia.

The food and beverage sector is worth over $30 billion a year, employing 15 per cent of the national workforce.

It is so central that the Federal Government’s 2013 National Food Plan White Paper calls for “a sustainable, globally competitive, resilient food supply supporting access to nutritious and affordable food”.

The ITLS – University of Newcastle collaboration is backed by the CSIRO, Georgia Institute of Technology, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, SunRice, the Batlow Fruit Co-operative, and Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing.

The ITLS is now calling for applications for a PhD scholarship in food and beverage supply chain optimisation.

“The successful applicant will to join our team and will work on supply chain design and management projects in close collaboration with our industry partners,” said Dr Fahimnia.

“The focus of these projects will be on the development of decision tools and optimisation models for the design of efficient, resilient, and sustainable supply chains in food and beverage industry,” Dr Fahimnia added.