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Sonoco FRESH to Host Virtual Food, Packaging & Sustainability Summit

Clemson alumnus David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, will give the keynote presentation at the inaugural Food, Packaging & Sustainability Summit hosted by Sonoco FRESH at Clemson University.

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The summit will take place February 24–26, 2021.

In December 2020 the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “…for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.” Beasley will paint a picture of the industry’s ability to make positive changes that will impact the future of sustainable food systems.

The summit’s theme depicts the goal of optimizing the food value chain to protect food and the environment through safe, secure and sustainable solutions. FRESH is pleased to provide a content-rich program that reflects its unique approach to evaluating the entire food value chain.

“The need for collaborations and innovative approaches to protecting the safety, security and sustainability of the food value chain has never been greater,” said Anne Barr, Executive Director of Sonoco FRESH. “Networking and interaction are the cornerstones of our event, and we will be using a dynamic virtual conference platform that will allow attendees to join interactive and engaging programs – all while connecting from the comfort and safety of their homes or offices.”

Day one of the Summit will kick off with welcoming remarks from Clemson President Jim Clements and Sonoco President and CEO Howard Coker followed by Beasley’s keynote presentation. Attendees will then be treated to a unique social hour that will focus on eco-ethics in travel and food hosted by Joel Gamoran, founder of Homemade Classes LLC and Richard Crawford, host of Amazon Prime’s Leave No Trace. Day two’s opening address will feature leaders from Deloitte Consulting who will discuss the current state of the food value chain. Panel discussions will focus on overcoming supply chain disruptions in times of change and implementing and utilizing innovative technologies to deliver safe, secure and sustainable solutions. Attendees will then finish the day with an innovative approach to circularity from Caue Suplicy, the founder of Barnana – a banana-based snack company that has upcycled 100 million bananas since its inception in 2012. Day three will include presentations on designing and delivering cradle-to-cradle packaging solutions, advanced recycling practices, launching sustainable packaging innovations and a case study using sugar cane fiber for food packaging. The Summit will conclude with a presentation from Ron Gonen, Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, on the amazing things that can happen when competitors collaborate for the greater good. A complete list of presentations and speakers can be found at

Registration for the virtual Summit is $129 for individuals and $99 per person for groups of five or more registering together. Proceeds from the Summit will support future activities of the FRESH initiative at Clemson University.

More information on the Summit and workshop, including agenda and speaker updates, can be found at Sponsorships are available.

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